1 Corinthians 12:1-13
If you look up this passage in biblegateway.com, its header reads: “Concerning Spiritual Gifts.” According to verse 11, the Spirit distributes them to each one, just as he determines (NIV). It makes me think of the tired old saw, “When they were passing out brains, I thought they said trains, and I asked for a slow one.” The truth is, I have sometimes—okay, often—been jealous, even resentful, of the gifts
of others, spiritual or otherwise. I find myself asking, How does she have such compassion for people? What gives him the ability to forgive like that? How do they do that?
Working in the performing arts has given me the chance to see
and hear and experience the talents of many wonderful performers:
stellar actors, beautiful singers, stunning dancers. We like to say,
“They are so gifted.” A truth that remarkable performers will share,
though, is that the gift is nothing, if not coupled with the inten-
tional, deliberate, and disciplined practice to develop it. A famous
ballerina once said of a particularly challenging turn, “If I have to do
15 fouettés onstage, I make sure I can do 30 in the studio. And then I
repeat it a dozen more times. On stage, I’m ready.”
Jesus once admonished Peter that we should forgive not seven
times, but seventy times seven. Perhaps Jesus knew that to use our
gifts well, we need that much practice.
Practice. Start small. Try. Fail. Try again. Repeat. Eventually the
moment will come and you’ll find you’re ready.
What gifts have I been given? How will I practice them this week?
God, I am grateful for and jealous of the gifts of others. I’m going to practice gratitude today. Please remind me to do it again tomorrow. Amen.