Losing Time & Finding Codes

I found an excerpt over the weekend from a letter that Albert Einstein wrote to his eleven year old son in 1915. At that time Einstein was thirty-six. He wrote…

…I am very pleased that you find joy with the piano. This and carpentry are in my opinion for your age the best pursuits, better even than school. Because those are things which fit a young person such as you very well. Mainly play the things on the piano which please you, even if the teacher does not assign those. That is the way to learn the most, that when you are doing something with such enjoyment that you don’t notice that the time passes. I am sometimes so wrapped up in my work that I forget about the noon meal. . . .

There’s a lot of beauty unfolding here in these words. For one, Einstein is promoting the creative. Could it be that we learn more while our imagination is decoding the world around us then we do reading what has already been decoded? Secondly, he asks his son to shelf the sheet music and get lost in and with the keys of the piano. What romance there is in the three-step waltz of work, art, and possibility. And lastly, Einstein reveres time. He’s aware of just how holy it is and how today is all that is confirmed in our stories.

Of course we can’t always accomplish such a feat, but what a worthy goal of our days to enter into moments where we fully pursue our art, our parenting, our leading, and our serving with such holiness that we lose track of time, but walk away with a vault of codes as to how things are.


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