Thursday, March 7, 2013

March 7, 2013

Psalm 86:11
Teach me your way, LORD,
that I may rely on your faithfulness.

Many years ago, one of the world's greatest violinists, Joshua Bell, tried an experiment.  He decided to play a mini-concert, unannounced, in a subway station in Washington, D. C.

Bell brought his 1713 Stradivarius violin which is worth millions, and played six songs touted to be the six most beautiful comprised songs ever written.

Picture this scene for a moment:  the world's greatest violinist playing the world's greatest music on the world's greatest instrument in a very ordinary place.  What an amazing opportunity for those lucky enough to be there that day!  You can check out what happened here.

Each passenger in that station had a quick choice to make:

  • Should I stop and listen?
  • Should I throw in a buck, just to be polite?
  • Do I act like I don't see him so it's not awkward when I walk by?
For the 45 minutes that Bell played, only seven people stopped what they were doing to take in the performance.  Twenty-seven gave money, most of them on the run (for a meager total of $32 and change).  The most startling statistic of all is this:  A thousand people walked by because they were in a hurry, rushing past Joshua Bell because they had other things to do.

Only one person recognized him . . .

Unfortunately, we do the same in our relationship with God.  We get so busy and distracted that we miss hearing His quiet voice, or we miss His presence with us.  We miss opportunities to share the Gospel.  We are so tied up in "us" that we miss His greatest performance of all time - the human race!  God is in the process of playing His best songs, and we are blowing past Him.  In ordinary settings at an inconvenient time, beauty still transcends.

We need to slow down.

We need to put aside distractions.

If we don't, we are in danger of missing out on some great opportunities.

Isn't that what Lent is all about?

When I'm told to slow down, it often means giving up something.  We give up time when we let off the gas pedal.  We give up our place in line when we slow down at the grocery store.  If I give up my iPhone at dinner with my family, how will I know the Falcons just traded Adrian Peterson?  If I am the leader of something and told to slow down, it often means giving up control of the lead!

That is where Satan gets me.  Control.  I like it.  I have it.  I want more of it!  If I slow down, I fear I will lose control.

I work for a company based in Japan.  I get a lot of emails at 8:00 at night.  Eight o'clock is bed time in our house.  The emails I receive from Japan are all important because they are sent to me, and I have control.  If I don't respond right away, a sale might not go through, a shipment could be late, or, in my eyes, the world could come to an end!

While I'm answering those emails, something else is going on . . .

Picture the scene for a moment:  The world's greatest mommy is singing the world's greatest lullaby to the world's greatest boys in a very ordinary bedroom.  What an amazing opportunity for those lucky enough to be there that day!

Each Daddy in that house that night has a quick choice to make:
  • Should I keep pace with work, not slow down and answer the email?
  • Should I poke my head in, just to be polite?
  • Do I slow down, pick up my "instrument", and help play in the greatest symphony those two boys have ever heard?
Life is short.  Slow down so you don't miss the masterpiece God is playing for us every day.

Better yet, pick up your "instrument" and play on!

~Jon Smalling

Jeremiah 10:11-24
Psalms 42, 43 or 85, 86
Romans 5:12-21
John 8:21-32

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