Italian violinist Niccolo Paganini is thought by many to have been history’s greatest exponent of his art. As he swept through Europe in the early 1800’s his fame was something like that of Beatlemania! His skills were so great that it was whispered he gained his ability from a pact with the devil.
It is said that one evening Paganini was performing before a packed house. As he embarked on the final piece one of the strings on his violin snapped. Undeterred Paganini kept playing. A few moments later, a second string snapped. Again Paganini kept going, now reduced to playing a classical masterpiece on just two strings. And then the unbelievable – a third string snapped. Yet Paganini kept going, finishing the piece on just one string. So brilliant was his performance that the crowd rose to their feet to give him a standing ovation.
Yet Paginini was not finished. There was the encore to come. Raising his violin above his head Paginini called to the audience “Paganini, and one string!” With that the orchestra struck up and Paginini completed his encore on just one string.
Application: Paginini was playing a magnificent but eventually flawed violin that night. Yet even with three strings broken the master musician was able to extract beautiful music from it. You and I are like flawed instruments in the hand of God, yet no matter how flawed and broken, God is still able to weave beautiful, graceful things through us when we give ourselves to serving him and others.
Source: Information from Paginini website and “Sermon Notes”