Take time not to miss brief moments of grace

Published 9:23 am Tuesday, August 9, 2011

By REV. KEN LETSON / Guest Columnist

What would happen if a world-class musician performed elegant classical music on a priceless instrument in a busy train station in an American city?

The Washington Post did a little social experiment to find out for themselves in their own city in January of 2007. The musician was Joshua Bell, who can earn upwards of $50,000 for an evening’s performance. The instrument was a 300-year-old Stradivarius violin valued at $3.5 million. The music included the works of Bach and other masters.

The experiment was captured on hidden camera. How did people respond?

During Mr. Bell’s 45-minute performance, 1,097 people passed by. Twenty-seven people dropped spare change into his open violin case, for a total of $35.

Seven of them stopped what they were doing to listen for at least one minute. The other 1,070 people hurried past, oblivious, uninterested, unmoved.

It made me wonder how I might have responded had I been among the busy people in that Metro station that day. I probably would have missed it too, and I suspect you might have as well. The sad reality is we miss such moments of wonder and grace every day.

How many times do we encounter truth, beauty and excellence, without giving it a second look? How many messages of hope do we ignore? How many demonstrations of grace do we disregard? How many divine appointments do we overlook? What are we missing, trying to make our next train?

What would happen if, as a habit, we started noticing a little more. It’s amazing how much wide-eyed expectancy can change your perspective on things and on people. I would even dare suggest that you might notice the fingerprints of God all over your life if you just look a little closer.

Why don’t you give it a try today. Open your eyes in the midst of the busyness of your business and recognize those brief moments of grace and opportunities for wonder that God sends your way each day. There will be at least a few today. Will you see them?

The Rev. Ken Letson is pastor of the Church at Shelby Crossings. You can reach him at kenletson@shelbycrossings.com.