Listen to this devotional:
Revelation 2:4-5a – Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. (NIV)
Have you ever been around someone who is so excited about something that it rubs off on you? I have, many times. But last August, I had opportunity to discover it again. My granddaughter was attending day camp for two weeks. Sure, who wouldn't be excited about camp? But this was not your ordinary, everyday camp. There was no sun or sand, no boats or water, no archery or ponies anywhere.
No, it was Shakespeare Camp. Yes, you are reading it right. She went every day for two weeks to a warm old office building right downtown, to learn about Shakespeare and be involved in one of his plays. This was her third year, and she was excited. On a few days during the camp, I volunteered to pick her up, and I could feel the excitement. It's not my thing, but it is hers.
The most exciting four o'clock pickup was the day that she received her lines for the play in which she was going to have a part on the following Friday. Her eyes were lit up, and I could see the enthusiasm in the way she danced out of the building and jumped into the back seat. She was eager and ready to get down to it.
After letting us know the title of the play, she asked if I would help her learn her lines. Really? And being the most awesome grandfather a child could ever have, I agreed to help. We were no sooner in the house than we started. I could not hold my smile in as we went through the lines and she began the process of taking those words and committing them to memory. And in the process, I learned some of them as well. "We begin in Athens, in a time before …"
The whole process took me back to a time long ago, when I, too, was in stage plays at school. There was The Mikado, Bye Bye Birdie, Calamity Jane, and the like. And I smiled some more and became excited with her.
After we went to bed that night, I lay there thinking about learning lines, and thought about the Bible verses I learned so many years ago. I thought of the sword drills at young people's, and reading Scripture in church. Together, we can all recite John 3:16 — "For God so loved …" But unlike the words of a play, it goes beyond a nice story. It's learning the lines, the words that change our hearts and our lives, forever. As I lay there, these were my last thoughts before drifting off to sleep: Are we still as excited about the lines in our Bibles that once captured our hearts and lives? Have we lost our "first love"? And do we desire to live the lines rather than just learning them and acting?
Prayer: Lord God, we humbly beseech You to stir up within us a renewed love for You and Your Word. May we indeed repent and do the things we did at first. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.