Why it is so easy to miss God
The enthralling children’s book ‘The Man with the Violin’ tells the story of a boy who is rushed unwillingly by his mother past a busking violinist in the subway. He is one of the few people who wants to stop and listen to the beautiful music he hears. Most people, including his mother, are too busy and focused to even notice the violinist. All day the boy enjoys the music he remembers in his head and then later the boy and his mother hear the same violinist on the radio. They discover that he was a famous violinist placed in the subway that day as an experiment. The purpose of the experiment was to discover: if a famous violinist played some of the most beautiful and difficult music in a subway would more people stop and take notice more than they would with a regular busker?
The book is based on a true-life experiment the famous violinist Joshua Bell took part in. In the 43 minutes he played in a subway station in Washington, D.C, only 7 people stopped to listen for more than one minute. Many children wanted to stop but were rushed passed. Only one of the seven who did stop recognized who he was. She was enthralled with meeting him in the subway and the free concert he gave. She knew the value of listening to him in concert - she had previously paid hundreds of dollars for tickets. None of the passers-by that day had expected to see a world-class violinist and most failed to recognize him and the quality of his music in such unusual surroundings.
They had not been prepared.
Preparation is the art of highlighting the importance of something or someone. It is the art of cultivating an environment for expressing relationship and value.
Paying hundreds of dollars for a concert of a famous violinist places a high value on that experience - the ticket-holder is preparing themselves to hear something spectacular and they most likely will.
How often in my day is God a world-class violinist playing beautiful music to woo me and I am a passer-by rushing by to do my latest task? How can I, as a disciple of Jesus prepare my heart to see God throughout the day not just the time I set aside for Him at the beginning of the day? How can I slow down long enough to look for Him, to expect him, to recognize those moments when He is breaking through and inviting me to relish His presence?
How can I, as a leader and as a mother, highlight God’s presence to others? How can I prepare others to worship and recognise Him? Will I respond to my children's begs to slow down and embrace life? Will I slow them down and point out what God is doing today?
These are some of the questions I am exploring this week and hope to unpack a little in the weeks to come.
Where is God playing the violin in your day today and will you stop a moment and listen and enjoy relationship with Him?
I have put together a guide for you with 8 fresh, practical ways that you connect with God in 10 minutes or less. May it help you be attentive to where God is wooing you today! Click the image below to get your free copy now:
You can see the concert violinist Joshua Bell’s subway performance reduced to under 3 minutes here.