Daily Devotion

September 30, 2020

Slow down (3)

“Does it mean nothing to…all you who pass by?” La 1:12 NLT


At a Metro station in Washington D.C. on a cold January morning, a young violinist played several Bach compositions as people rushed by. After three minutes, a middle-aged man stopped briefly, then hurried away. Four minutes later the young man received his first dollar; a woman threw it in his hat without stopping. Six minutes later a man leaned against a wall to listen, looked at his watch, and walked on. After ten minutes a little boy stopped, but his mom hurried him along. Other kids did the same, but every parent, without exception, rushed them on. The young musician played for forty-five minutes. During that time six people stopped and listened for a while, and twenty gave money as they walked past. He collected a total of $32, and when he stopped playing nobody noticed or applauded; there was no recognition at all. What’s remarkable is this: The violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the world’s greatest musicians, and he played some of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, he’d sold out a Boston theater where seats averaged $100 to listen to him play the same music he played at the Metro station that morning. So here’s the question: If you’ve no time to stop and listen to one of the world’s best musicians playing the finest music ever written, on one of the most beautiful instruments ever made, what else are you missing as you barrel through life? It’s worth thinking about, isn’t it? (Note: Joshua Bell played incognito as part of a social experiment conducted by The Washington Post.)