Recently, my son Silas bought a couple plastic recorders at Dollar Tree. You know, those little musical instruments we all played in elementary school. I’m not sure what I was thinking when I approved that purchase.
A couple days ago, Silas marched around the house blowing into his yellow recorder. He didn’t play any actual notes; he just blew with all his might. He also didn’t blow in any set pattern, just random loud toots. And just when I thought he might have exhausted himself and I’d begin to enjoy the quiet, he’d walk up behind me and blow again. It was not a pleasant sound.
As I stood cutting up chicken to marinate for dinner, I thought about how awful that recorder sounded. The blasts from that instrument overpowered every other sound in the house. I could not hear the sweet giggles of the baby or the praise music from my iPod. I couldn’t even hear the dependable hum of the clothes dryer. All I heard were the sharp, ear-piercing toots of that recorder. I half expected all the stray dogs in the neighborhood to gather on our porch and begin to howl.
That’s when it hit me. How often do I sound like that horrible recorder to God? 1 Corinthians chaper 13 tells us that even if we do great things without love, we sound like a banging gong or clanging cymbal.
How often do I correct my children’s behavior out of annoyance instead of love? How often do I pick up toys and clean up messes with a complaining spirit instead of love? How often do I try to teach math or keep my children on-task in schoolwork with a frustrated attitude rather than a heart of love? At those moments, I sound like that recorder, off-key and out-of-tune, just one angry, annoying blast after another.
I don’t want my clanging, loveless acts to overpower and out-sound the sweet sounds in my home and in my life. I want to be a pleasant sound to my family and to my heavenly Father. I want everything I do to be motivated by love — love for my Father and love for those around me.
Father, please help me be filled with Your love so that I may love like You do. Please fill me to overflowing with a love that is patient and kind, a love that isn’t consumed with self, a love that isn’t rude and self-seeking, a love that leaves no room for evil, a love that rejoices only in truth, a love that always protects and hopes and presses on. Please give me a love that never fails, that never gives up. And please help me to remember to base all of my actions on this love.