Recently, I sat and listened to a middle school orchestra performance. Around 100 students participated grades 6-8th. For our youngest son Nathan, this is his final concert as he completes 8th grade.
Perhaps you can imagine the sounds of so many 11-14 year olds with scratchy violins, violas, cellos, and basses. Overall, the music sounds okay. You can follow the melodies. The harmony is shaky, but it’s there. You can tell, without looking or listening too closely, this is indeed a group of young children growing in their experience and skills. So, it’s music, but it’s immaturely played.
Suddenly, as I casually listened with a crowd of busy tired parents, a few notes were struck by a 12 year old violinist…the start of a traditional Celtic love song. As each student joined in their part there was a sudden blending, a sensitive and plaintive beauty of each instrument coming together.
For two dozen bars or more these children transcended their neophyte efforts and came together for something beautiful. It was an impossible moment of beauty that suddenly became possible. The crowd looked up from their mobile phones, some without even knowing why.
As leaders, you and I are constantly striving to achieve, perform, and see people come together. We want the orchestra we are conducting to come around us with skill and excellence. But, perhaps it’s just these impossible moments of beauty that God is actually listening for. Maybe it’s those moments when we transcend the simple math of addition of our singular voices and we come together for something new, complex, rare, unified, and precious.
Perhaps as leaders our role is more about seeking and striving for those moments of impossible beauty than it is performing the individual notes with perfection.
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