Many times we are too rushed in life to notice moments of beauty in the world around us. Our schedules are packed with an overload of activity, so we look like we are whirring around throughout the day. Too much of this wears us down. This constant tiredness from being in a rush can skew our thinking that life is drab, boring and exhausting and we only look for troubles and problems which usually generates more negativity with more problems occurring.
In a recent Sunday church message the Preaching Elder told a story that relates to our changing how we use our time. To learn to slow down in life to capture the moments of beauty and joy that God places in our paths but we are too hurried to notice them. The story was a true one of a study done by the Washington Post to see how people use their time and their priorities. Do people recognize real talent in unlikely places? They had Joshua Bell a famous violinist, go to a Washington D.C. transit station. In the lobby he played for about 45 minutes. How many people of the crowd of hundreds of passerbys would stop, listen and enjoy the talented musician? Click on the link here and you will see a short snippit of the film done while he was playing.
The study found that only a handful of the hundreds that passed through actually stopped to enjoy his violin music. If only they knew people pay hundreds of dollars to hear Josh Bell play in concert halls. The video reminded me of my time of living in Chicago taking the trains for transportation. Many times at the station there would be street musicians playing. Most of the time, depending how busy I was; I would take a few minutes to listen and if I really enjoyed the music I would toss some coins or a dollar in their case or box. Why? Because, I enjoyed the beauty of the music. The sharing of their talent many times made my day better. Far too many people are too busy to take the time to enjoy a little portion of beauty.
Some may say catching a train is very important so they were right to rush by the musician. Yes, I did have my rushed days where running to the train was the most important issue. The important issue the Washington Times experiment drives home still, is do we stay in the rushed mode all the time or take times to savor the little beauties in life that come our way. Do we have to always quickly rush into the garage and miss the hummingbird in the front yard flower garden?
Jesus in the gospel writings says Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (Matt. 6:28-29). In the context the meaning is focusing on overcoming our anxiety and worry. Yet in relation to being mindfully aware and savoring the beauty in life which the Josh Bell video speaks to; we need to consider, take notice of the beauty of the lily to learn what Jesus is getting at. If we are too rushed and hurried in life to notice the lilies that come into our lives we can’t learn from the beauty around us.
In making the most of our life take time to take note of the little things in each day of your life journey. Learn to slow down. Go to www.slowmovement.com for ideas. The little beauties and joys can perk up a dull boring day or brighten a downright terrible day. At the same time do not forget the big joys as well. Last week we enjoyed a big joy as jazz great Ramsey Lewis performed a concert at our local Arts Center. The concert was 90 minutes of sheer joy with an ending with inspiration as he ended his concert with a medley of gospel songs, Precious Lord and Amazing Grace. Looking for Joy and Beauty in each day helps you in living a more than OK life!
To see a World in a Grain of San
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour. (William Blake)
Flower in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of the crannies,
I hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
Little flower--but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is. (Tennyson)
Write down three little things that you saw or occurred in your life today that could be considered a joy or a beauty in your life. Do you feel you are mindfully aware of what is going on in your life to savor life to its fullest?