We play a song too many times and after a while we become bored of it. It no longer piques us in joy. This bemuses and, at a deeper level, frustrates us. We want that emotional feeling we used to get but no longer have—not until the next “brilliant” song comes along, anyway.
We turn the sound up or listen to it in different ways in an effort to recapture what we felt previously—but it’s often all to no avail.
And this occurs too with our spirituality.
John in Revelation related the vision of the Lord—specifically, in this case, is his challenge to the church at Ephesus:
“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.”
~Revelation 2:4 (NIV).
It Happens – the Withering of the First Love
All the issues presented to the seven churches in early Revelation are common to our belief experience. They’re relevant issues for all of us. They’re there to remind us how real a temptation backsliding is.
We are very apt at burning the candle down to its solitary wick, bereft of the fuel to keep the rooms of our hearts lit with the fire of God’s Spiritual flame. We tip more fuel onto the fire and we starve it of its energy to sustain itself. Our fuel is often emotion-without-cognition.
Or over time we just lose our lustre for things. Too much of a good thing gets us apathetic toward it.
We must, of course, protect and nurture our first loves.
This has relevance within our families as much as it has relevance with God; but it must come from God in the first place. I guess that’s the main point.
Nurturing the First Love
What really is most important to us? We cannot dilute this.
As human beings we can only really focus on a few minute things at any one time. What is underpinning our approach to life? Is it God pulling our levers—helping, directing and guiding us—or is it now ourselves in command and control?
More importantly than nurturing the first love for many, however, is recapturing this felt Presence of the Lord.
Regaining the First Love
The good news is that, with a fight—a good fight, we can not only recapture the first love, but fall in love at far deeper and greater levels than ever before, because our knowledge is now piqued—we’re aware now of just how important it is to ‘grip’ the Lord.
This is to cherish deeply what we truly have in God, and to stoke this relationship with whatever we have to keep it alive.
God is not forceful—he will not force himself on us; not continually anyway.
It’s up to us. We can have whatever depth of relationship with God we like. The deeper the better—this is an infinite truth. The depths of God’s goodness—in his relationship with us—are unfathomable.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.