This past week I went with our youth to Six Flags Fiesta Texas. I was flooded with flashbacks of memories from times not so long ago. Especially when the sun began to set and they started illuminating the rides and booths with colorful lights. The sights, the smells, and the sounds sparked memories of Cedar Point and Kings Island during perfect Ohio summers. The surroundings took me back.
I couldn’t help but think of a song we sing. “Take me back, take me back, take me back dear Lord, to the day where I first believed you.” The nostalgia reminded me of days gone by where days at the amusement park were filled with wonder and awe; the uncertainties and the hopes of a bigger, better tomorrow.
We must never lose grip of our where we came from. Those feelings of nostalgia are healthy. Not necessarily of cool summer Lake Erie breezes as we wait to get one more ride in before the park closes. Or the fireworks illuminating the sky behind us as we pile into cars and vans to make our way back home. But those feelings of what it felt like when we first felt God touch our heart. The flood of emotions that ran through us as God filled us with His Spirit.
Jesus chastised the church in Ephesus. They were a successful church. They were working for Christ and building the kingdom of heaven. But Jesus said, “I have somewhat against thee, because thou has left thy first love” Revelations 2:4. They lost the nostalgia of those days gone by. They forgot the days where there young and innocent dreams and hopes were combined their new found zeal and emotion of having experienced God in a new way.
When we labor in the Lord’s vineyards simply to work we have lost our first love. The reason we serve in a church is because we have such fond memories of what it felt like for God to touch our lives for the first time and we have a desire to please God as well as share Him with everyone we meet.
My prayer today is that we never let our work be just that, our work. But I pray God takes us each back to the day where we first believed Him and we are each filled with a renewed zeal and passion as the emotions of that moment flood our souls. Let God take you back and find your first love and let the memories wash over you that gave you your hopes and dreams and filled your life with purpose.