Would We recognize God If We Met Him?
2007, in a Washington D.C. metro station, an unknown man played Bach on his violin for forty five minutes. People hurriedly passed him by with little notice. Two days previous to this social experiment, conducted by the Washington Post, this same violinist played before a sold out house at $100 per seat in Boston. On this day, he was playing one of the most intricate pieces of music ever written on a three and a half million dollar violin, but, no one paid any attention to Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world today.
I like good music and I would like to think that on that day, I would have been the exception; That I would have stopped and listened, but I too, probably would not have recognized what I was hearing. Recognition is an ambiguous thing. It alters the perception of our world. I suspect that had Joshua's appearance been publicized or had he been recognized, the atmosphere at the metro center would have been quiet different.
It makes me wonder, however, if God is really so hard to find today or if we simply fail to recognize Him when confronted with His music. Are we so enslaved by the tune we follow that we can not hear His music? Is our direction so unalterable that our destination refuses interruption?
There are certainly those, who had they been there on that day, would have heard the music; Would have recognized what they were hearing. There are those that would certainly have measured the music differently than those who hurried by. I wonder of those who might have stopped and listened? Could they then adequately convey, what they had heard to the rest of us, or was there need, by we ourselves, to hear Joshua Bell in person?
There are today, perhaps, people who hear music that some of us have yet to hear. Perhaps they hurry less or perhaps, some of us have just decided that we don't like Bach or violins. Whatever the answer, just because He might be there is no assurance that we will recognize Him or that we will recognize His music. Perhaps, wherever I am going, leaves no room for His intended interruption. Perhaps, good music is so distant from what I am accustomed too, that all I can do, is hurry by, in route only, to whatever I have decided to have ears for.
It wasn't Joshua Bell who was at fault that day. He did all he could to captivate the crowd, to introduce himself to their hurried lives, but it proved insufficient. Perhaps we are surrounded by music we do not hear. Perhaps our moments are already filled with destination and have no room for interruption. What ever the case, the fact remains, Joshua Bell was there that day, he played Bach on a three and a half million dollar violin, Then he left and no one knew he had played.