You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first.” Revelation 2:4-5
I was so excited…until I wasn’t. Every new, store-bought toy was cause for big excitement at 6008 Carlton Road. Like I’ve said before there were plenty of things laying around that a kid like me could turn into a toy. Sticks became guns and China berries became bullets. In my eight-year-old world, a trip into the woods was as good as a trip to Africa. But let’s be honest. Nothing could quite beat a store-bought toy.
New toys usually showed up two times a year. First, of course, was Christmas. I would anxiously wait for the wish books to show up in the mail so I could start wishing. Sometimes there were trips to the department stores downtown to window shop the trains and planes that were there on display. I remember letters to Santa, and to Momma and Daddy just in case he wasn’t available. I would state my case and then wait for the big morning and though we never got everything we want—what we got was more than enough.
The other time that store bought toys came to 6008 was on our birthdays. As I wrote those words, I am still amazed at how good my parents were to us…willing to do whatever it took to give us a Merry Christmas and a Happy Birthday. I remember too that a lot of years there was a birthday party in the plans and that multiplied the gifts and the memories. It was just all good. In the days that followed Christmas and January 6 (my birthday and the original Christmas Day before some Pope changed it) I would play and play with those new toys…until I didn’t.
There always came a time when I got too rough and it broke, or I got bored as the newness wore off, or I just moved on to something else…but it always happened. The thing I thought I couldn’t live without became a discarded memory. One of my favorite Christmas toys was a Daisy double-barrel BB gun. I loved that gun and if I had taken care of it, today it would be very valuable. Well, I didn’t. I learned at my brother’s funeral that apparently his son and my nephew claimed it after I had discarded it. Where it went from there is anybody’s guess.
The truth is we are a fickle bunch. We soon enough grow tired of whatever is our current fancy and before long what was yesterday’s treasure is today’s trash. Rarely do we care for things the way we should. While it is true of toys, unfortunately, it is also true of the more important things in life. We give our word about something but find it only lasts while it is convenient. We make vows to love someone “till death do us part” and too often rewrite the deal to read, “till I change my mind.” We build our character and then trade it to save face. We often sell the truth so we can buy a lie for the same reason—convenience or pride.
It is amazing how quick we grow tired of the toys, people, and values in our life. We say we value this or that but as soon as this or that becomes difficult or inconvenient, well, what once mattered suddenly doesn’t anymore. So, what should we do? Good question. I believe the root of the answer lies in remembering. Someone once said before you quit you need to remember why you started in the first place. That’s good. And before we discard, something or someone, we need to remember what caused us to make the commitment in the first place.
In the book of the Revelation, near the end of the Bible, Jesus spoke and said this, “You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first.” Those are powerful words…words that we should pay attention to. If we do, perhaps, we will be slower to throw away, to walk away, or run away from the things that matter…what we used to value. The really good news is that the God who created us never, ever grows tired of us. We are as precious to Him as the first day we met Him. He loves us so much and wants to help us. In other words, as always, “He’s got this.” Bro. Dewayne