Tonight we saw the cutest little 6-year old violinist on center stage as soloist before a full orchestra. The conductor was watching him closely, smiling with admiration. For the audience this was surely the highlight of the evening. All smiled, laughed lovingly, and even shed some tears. What touched them? Was it the talent of an awesome prodigy? No, for the young fellow's playing was actually quite unpolished. Others his age have played far better. As the camera zoomed in closely, however, you could readily see the reason for his popularity. He was using his priceless possession, his secret weapon!
This little guy was displaying something quite rare. He smiled often at the audience and seemed to be smiling at himself also, not taking himself too seriously. He was having a good time, and was communicating to hundreds of on-lookers his innocent, unselfish love for what he was there to do. He was an instant success!
Tonight it seemed that love trumped talent. Attitude surpassed ability. His spirit communicated where technique was lacking. Sincere, honest joy communicated more than a slew of right notes.
Isn't that like the message of I Cor. 13? Without agape love, only given by God, all those with superior abilities in knowledge and eloquence are reduced to irritating annoyances! Even great faith, giving to the needy, and impressive self-sacrificing are counted as nothing in contrast to God-infused love. So effective and powerful in fact is this unique kind of love, that it claims in v. 8 that it will never fail. It always works. It never disappoints, and it will never cease to perform as intended. It speaks volumes, it heals, it unites, it reaches out, it excels.
In our diligent pursuit of excellence in all we are given to do, it's good to be reminded of the best gift, the most useful communicator, and the most valued by God. It is our prized possession!