I was getting ready for 5 o’clock Mass last Saturday when the phone rang. It was one of our neighbors.
“I know this is short notice,” she said, “but a friend and I are going to a concert tonight by the Morehouse College Glee Club. I have an extra ticket, and was wondering if you’d like to go.”
The wheels started spinning as I processed the timetable. My husband and I usually go to Mass on Saturday afternoon, but if we have other plans, or there’s a football championship on Saturday, we go to the morning Mass on Sunday. We didn’t have any other plans for Sunday morning, so it would be no problem to go then.
“I know you usually go to Mass on Saturday,” my neighbor started to say.
“That’s okay,” I said. “I can go tomorrow.”
“Or we can just pick you up at church after Mass, and head out from there.”
Done. I love it when last-minute plans work out like that!
The reason for the late notice, by the way, is that another woman was planning to go with them to the concert, but had to cancel at the last minute. I was happy that my neighbor thought of me, and I was excited to be going, even though I had never heard of the Morehouse College Glee Club.
What a treat I was in for, though! I knew that from the first sounds out of the singers’ mouths. Actually, even before that. Reading the program before the concert started, I learned that the Glee Club was world-renowned. Its members regularly perform around the country and across the globe. They performed the National Anthem with Natalie Cole for Super Bowl XXVIII in 1994, they performed with Stevie Wonder in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, and they performed at the Commencement Exercises at Morehouse College in 2013, when President Barack Obama was given an honorary degree.
Everything about the concert was stellar. Not just their singing, but the precision, the energy, and the passion they exhibited during and between each number. I was mesmerized through the entire evening, and was sorry when the concert was over and it was time to go home.
Reflecting later on the experience, I thought about how easy it would have been to say “Thanks, but no thanks,” to my neighbor when she called with a last-minute invitation. I was just getting ready to leave for church, after all. And I knew nothing about the group presenting the concert. I didn’t even know my neighbor very well, although we’ve gotten together once or twice and I knew she was someone whose company I enjoyed and whom I’d like to get to know better.
It was a wonderful reminder to be open to events and invitations even if they are spontaneous, or last-minute, or filling in for someone else who was supposed to go but ended up having to cancel. Such invitations can lead us to new experiences. They can surprise us and delight us. And they can be more enjoyable than we ever imagined or expected them to be.
February 16, 2018
©Betty Liedtke, 2018
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