I occasionally use a prayer book to help guide my morning thoughts and prayers. This morning, I read these words: “To attend to each moment is to hear the faint melody of eternity.”
I then got ready for the day, headed out, and was on a road I usually don’t take in the morning. In fact, I almost didn’t take that way, and could have gone a couple of other ways to get to the same place. I quickly wished I had, for as soon as I pulled onto that road, a school bus stopped in front of me. And I could tell that this would be no quick bus stop. Not much was happening, and then the driver got out and began to lower a ramp. It slowly came down, even though there was no child in site. Soon, though, a mom brought out a little boy in his wheelchair.
I was focused on my plans, my schedule, my sense of hurry — and right in front of me was a guy who doesn’t have the luxury of hurry.
Later today, I was on my way to visit a friend in a retirement community. I turned into the entrance where he lives, and as I pulled through, several folks were coming out the front door. They were headed for an outing, and so, once again, I waited as people got on a bus right in front of me. And just like the little guy boarding the morning’s bus, these folks did not have the luxury of hurry, for they were older — and needed walkers, wheelchairs, and a helping hand to get where they were going.
And I noticed that one of the helpers was from our church; she was assisting her mom. She came over and we chatted through the car window. As we were talking, the bus captain came over and said, “Do you wanna go through? I’m getting ready to lower the lift.”
“No, go ahead,” I said. I’ve sat through one bus lift; why not another?
Why not another? Why not? Because I’m in a hurry.
But why? Why am I in a hurry? Because I’ve got stuff to do.
What kind of stuff? Church stuff. People stuff. I’m a minister. I’ve got places to go, people to see, important things to do. And so I rush from one place to another, from one thing to another, all in the name of, well … in the name of what?
Ministry? People? Well, what about the people right in front of me?
I don’t need a wheelchair to get around. I don’t have to lean on anyone’s arm. And so, I have the luxury of hurry. I rush around because I can. But in my rushing, is it possible that I’m missing the very reason I’m hurrying? Could it be that, in my rushing to do ministry, I actually miss ministry?
Could it be that I miss the eternity contained in the moment, in this moment, when I rush from one thing to another, not slowing down enough to notice the power of this present moment? When I hurry right past the people in front of me? Is it possible, that, because I have the luxury of hurry, I miss the grandeur of grace — the gift of God in the moment, and the person, right in front of me?