maestro – pl. maes·tros or maes·tri (-trē) – A master in an art…( or people who are really good at what they do)
There are few things I enjoy more than watching people do something they are especially good at. There is something about maestros, those people who were made to do exactly what they’re doing. Maybe it’s that they found it. They found exactly what they were put on Earth to do. A lot of us are still searching for that. Maybe it’s that they’re doing something that we could never do. Maybe it just makes us sit back and smile. And you know what…we really like that.
They can be larger-than-life sport moments like Tiger Woods storming his way to the U.S. Open Championship this year or Michael Jordan sinking the game-winning shot to win the 1998 NBA Finals (I still do my best impression of that shot (complete with my own running commentary) every time I step on a basketball court).
They can be closer-to-home moments like my mom and aunt magically making a magnificent meal come together in the middle of Thanksgiving. With dogs yapping around a kitchen floor and toddlers doing their best to hide everyone’s car keys and adults carrying on conversations at volumes illegal in nice neighborhoods after the hours of 9 p.m., it certainly is a wonder to witness casseroles and turkeys and potatoes all coming together in a communal cornucopia at just the right time.
They can be spiritually significant moments like my cohort, companion, mentor, “Wise Counsel”, “best friend at work”, and fellow youth leader standing up in front a group of high schoolers to deliver a message at our Wednesday night youth ministry. Last night, he was on. We were running short on time so he had to cut corners and trim up his teaching, but from beginning to end, a group of teenagers sat engaged in everything he had to say. It was simply satisfying to just sit back and watch him do what he does best. As his wife beat me to the punch earlier today, he gives us many reasons to be thankful for him (including the fact that I’m thankful he married such an amazing cook (and woman, of course)).
They can also be more simple, sincere moments like my wife leading her Bible study small group of 9th grade girls. They meet at 6:30 a.m. every Thursday while I’m getting my last few winks of morning sleep. I usually wake up, tip-toe to the kitchen to make a bowl of cereal and head back to the bedroom to watch some SportsCenter. But on the way back to the room, I always take a look into the living room to see 4 young females listening attentively to whatever wisdom my wife is sharing. It’s enough to make a husband proud.
Lastly, they can be quick, quiet, easy-to-miss moments. My good friend Daniel Clark (who before med-school contrubted to this blog) is THE maestro of this kind. It’s him taking a couple of steps ahead of you right before you reach a door so that he can open it for you. It’s him putting his pen down and closing his book during the middle of an all-nite cram fest so he can stop, look you in the eyes, and really listen to your need. It’s him reaching out and hugging a homeless woman wandering around the streets of Chicago in the late hours of cold, winter nights. And it’s him slipping a word of encouragement into your mail box when you’re least expecting it.
Sure there’s more. In my immediately family, there’s my step-dad’s jokes, my older sister’s writing, and my little sister’s baking. Among friends, there’s eye-catching stuff like Matt’s acting, Haynes’ art, and Dero’s photography. But there’s also soul-stirring stuff like a good hug from Hunter, an equal parts sincere/laugh-out-loud funny letter from Sobel, and Brett’s ability to always be there for you…no matter what. Don’t even get me started on Adam and Zach, the other main contributors to this blog…we’ll be here for a while (Fellows, call me if you really want to hear yours!).
But who are the maestros among you? Who are the people that you just love to sit back and watch? Who are the people that do what they do so effortlessly you swear they’re not even thinking twice about it? I know mine.