It’s amazing what the human memory can retain and what it can’t.
Some days, I can barely remember why I got up to go to the kitchen. But I can remember the strangest minutiae that don’t matter in the least.
I remember when I was in kindergarten – kindergarten, almost 50 years ago! – I decided there was a girl in my class that I liked…a lot.
At our school, the kindergarteners had their own designated, smaller yard set aside for recess. And at recess one day, I decided I would express to my classmate how I felt about her. So I started chasing her around the yard, with the express intent of kissing her.
It seems she wanted no part in this, and it also seems she could run faster than I could, because I don’t recall that my lips ever reached her cheek (which was all I would have aimed for at such an age)!
I guess you could say that was my first love, requited though it was.
In Revelation 2.4, John records the ascended Lord Jesus’ words to the Ephesian church when he accuses them: “You have forsaken the love you had at first” (NIV).
Jesus wasn’t talking about a love like my kindergarten attempt at romance. He was talking about love for him, as well as love for their brothers and sisters in the faith.
In our culture, which applauds busyness, we can get so tied up in an activity for which we have passion that we forget the whole reason we do it in the first place.
We get so busy studying doctrine or defending our faith that we fail to love others well.
We get so busy advocating for some issue – poverty, climate change, social justice – that we fail to spend time with the Lord who gave us that passion in the first place.
We forsake our first love.
Let’s remember, whether we are studying God’s Word or supporting a cause, to love the Lord and his people first and foremost.
“‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments” (Matthew 22.37-40, NLT).