Thursday, December 15, 2011

In the Moment

time_flies-Luke_Griffin
James 4:14b For what is your life? For it is a vapor, which appears for a little time, and then disappears.

When I saw that picture by Luke Griffin, the first thing I noticed was the clouds.  They look like they’re rushing towards the horizon.  It made me think of that point in future history when everything moves from time into eternity.  We never know when that will be, but all of time is rushing toward it.  That needs to be kept in mind.  And it highlights a precious reality.

A friend of mine, Ken LaRose, shared an interesting study that had been done in the Washington DC subway.  There was a violinist who performed in one of the stations.  After an hour, he had accumulated $32 USD in his hat.  Most just passed by, some gave money, a few took minutes or longer to listen and enjoy, all the children were attracted to it.  The violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greats of our time.  The violin he used was valued at 3.5 million dollars, so you can imagine the sound quality.  And the piece he was playing flawlessly was one of the most complex pieces written.  According to the article, music lovers in Boston, just days before, had paid $100 a ticket to hear that same piece performed on that very violin by the same violinist.  And it got me thinking about our life.

Matthew 26:11 says, “For you have the poor with you always, but you do not always have Me.”  Jesus was responding to a complaint about Him being anointed with very expensive oils.  That’s recorded twice more in the Gospels, so the thought must be important.  Jesus wasn’t saying not to minister to the poor.  We know, by His example, that Jesus ministered to the sick, the poor, actually anyone.  What He was saying is that the woman who anointed Him recognized His value and spiritual beauty and took the time to show her recognition.  That’s important.

Think about the picture at the beginning of this post.  It’s so easy to follow those wisps of clouds off to something over the horizon and miss the placid beauty of that lake.  Yes, eternity is important.  But God knows we’re finite beings with limited capacity.  So, he gives us moments of beauty, spiritual impact, brief experiences of joy.  It can be a piece of music performed by a Joshua Bell or a Miles Davis, or a photograph by a Luke Griffin or a Varina Patel.  Those moments of blessing help us to keep seeking eternity.  Because we get to sense glimpses of it in the momentary beauty that God gives us in each one.  We need to keep aiming for eternity, but we also need to to find the special glory that God gives us as a gift in the moment.

What’s your personal experience of beauty and joy, today, in the moment?

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