Happy Birthday was sung and my friends handed me two boxes for the celebration of this festive occasion. Taking them home, my heart was racing as I anticipated what these gifts might contain. One was large and beautifully wrapped in red paper, to commemorate the feast day, and was tied around with golden ribbons, indicating the greatness of this special time. The second box was small, very heavy, and had only bland brown paper to enclose it. The weight was strange, since the other box was very light, and the difference between the two would eventually be revealed.
Since the excitement of this day was intriguing, my thought was to shove the brown box in a closet, since it probably was a joke from my friends, and opening the beautifully wrapped package that immediately got the attention of the moment.
I carefully unwrapped the gift and, upon opening the flaps, I found two very distinct gifts inside that I had always wanted. The first gift was that of eloquent speech, something that would allow me to impress my friends, make me well known, and who knows how far this would propel me in the world today. Gift number two was a tremendous singing voice, an ardent desire I had for many years, and now this would become a signature of myself perhaps serenading those around me.
Using these gifts gave me an opportunity to become noticed more than I had ever experienced before and I felt like a king with all the accolades that were coming my way. This package with two notable gifts inside were no doubt something special from God, especially on this day of Pentecost.
However, it didn’t take long before my association with many friends and even strangers began to wane, and little by little those to whom I thought were being impressed started avoiding me and, one by one, became aloof from my presence.
My closest friend, one who continued to stick by my side said; “maybe you opened the wrong box first”. “Perhaps you should get the other box, open it and just maybe you’ll find something more suited to your lifestyle”.
Quickly, I went home, searched the closet for the little brown box and after removing lots of debris that had accumulated around it, I opened the package and realized immediately why it was small and heavy. A gift like this doesn’t need to be in large containers, and because of the substance this gift had, it would indeed be very heavy. As I looked upon the contents, there was a set of instructions as how to use this long awaited gift.
It went like this: “If I speak in human and angelic tongues, but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
“Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
“So faith, hope, and love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”