The Real Audience of One

December 14, 2010 at 8:00 pm (Music) (, , , , , , )


Last week I drove home to see my little brother’s first piano recital. There were 13 other kids performing as well, probably all between 1st and 6th grade. They were adorable, and not one of them got stuck on a mistake. I was so excited to applaud loudly at the end of each performance, and help them feel special; encouraging them to keep at it.

The funny thing was, it didn’t seem to matter how loudly the audience clapped. Each child finished his or her piece, stood from the bench, and with a look of concern scanned the room. When they spotted their family cheering was when they smiled and sat down. I bet if their parents were the only ones applauding in the audience, they would have been filled with just as much joy. It was a curious pattern, but it reminded me of a greater principle.

How often do we settle for the applause of men? Or pout when it seems absent? Long have I tried to live by Colossians 3:17 which says, “And whatever you do, whether in word or in deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,” trying to apply it even to my school-work in the most tedious assignments (after all, it says WHATever). Yet still do I find myself upset when I do not receive the praise I believe is due unto me; whether in grade or thanks from those involved. And even God says that not everyone is to succeed, or even be liked by anyone. “Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?” (Romans 9:21).

Perhaps when Jesus said, “the Kingdom of God belongs to [the little children],” He was also speaking of this phenomenon. I pray that we can all be more like those children who played last Tuesday in front of an audience; only looking to One the source of our joy.

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