“But you walked away from your first love – why? What’s going on with you anyway?…” Revelations 2:4 (The Message)
Routine 30,000 mile vehicle checkup! This is the calendar greeting that awakened me from my sleep this morning. I set my calendar notifications to alert me an hour before my actual appointment time as I simply cannot remember things the way I used to remember them. (I blame this on child birth, along with gray hair and weight gain.). Unfortunately, there is no snooze capability on my calendar setting, so up I jumped.
When I arrived at the dealership to check my vehicle in for it’s scheduled service, I was told that they were off schedule (at 9am, no less) and that they would not be finished until around 4pm. Rrgghh! I really wasn’t trying to work on patience today, but I guess God had a different plan. Actually, He did better than a lesson in patience. He allowed the last replacement or “loaner” vehicle on the lot to be available for my use. I anticipated a not so good car or over-used mini van but was pleasantly surprised to be assigned a new 2012 model. This car drove like a dream! It had all the bells and whistles, state of the art everything. I left the lot with a huge, goofy smile on my face. In my mind, I looked like Christie Brinkley driving the car next to Chevy Chase in National Lampoon’s Vacation. I’m sure I looked more like Wilma Flinstone on a bad hair day but nevertheless, I was wearing a 1000 mega watt smile. As I was cruising (yes, I said it) down the freeway, I started thinking abut the marketing genius who decided to place new cars of the same make into driver’s hands as they obtained service on their slightly older models. What better way to entice people to want this newer and better car than to have them drive one when they are completely unprepared for this type of subliminal assault. Before I was 2 miles down the road, I was convinced that I needed this new car. My old car didn’t have the radio media screen. It didn’t have the super quiet air conditioner that this new model did, and it sure didn’t have the keyless ignition. I had been driving the Model-T version of cars (no wonder I looked like Wilma!), while other people who drove this new car where so much more sophisticated. It’s amazing how quickly we can become dissatisfied with something that, only minutes before, we loved!
I had left my first love, so to speak.
It didn’t take me even a nano second to connect the dots to what I believe God wanted me to take away from this experience: He is my first love. How many times do I turn away from Him? Although I can’t be pulled out of His hand and I am forever sealed into His family, I can still walk away from His side. He gave me that choice hoping that I would desire to walk next to Him and not turn away. I thought of the Old Testament story of the golden calf. Exodus 32:1 tells how the Israelites were so fickle that when Moses had not returned from his trip up Mt. Sinai, they begged Aaron to make them a graven image in gold of a cow so that they could worship it. I have always thought this to be absurd that anyone with a semblance of intelligence would want to worship a golden cow that they had made with their own hands…..but, yet, here I was loving this car and allowing it to take my focus off of the One whose hands hold all of creation. “Things” become idols in our hearts when we desire them more than anything. It’s easy to let those things that we enjoy become things over which we obsess.
What are some things you know have become an obsession in your life? Once you can identify these areas, whether things or people, then you can re-prioritize and place God back where He belongs – on the throne of your heart!
“You shall have no other gods before Me,”Exodus 20:3 (NIV)