First Love - Bill & Melinda Gates
Revelation 2:4 “You have left your first love.” Today I read that Bill and Melinda Gates will be divorcing after 27 years of marriage. I’ve never met them personally, but am a big fan of the philanthropic work they’ve done through the years. I know countless people look up to them, so I’m saddened by the news. It reminded me of a discussion I had recently with someone from our church. This brother is an incredible man of God, and I can honestly say that Solomon’s Porch Singapore might not be around if he hadn’t been involved from day 1. I sensed a tinge of dissatisfaction about Sunday service in one of his comments, so we had a bit of a conversation about it. “Bro, there are moments when I share the same sentiment, but in some recent conversations I realized that it’s actually the older members who have most of the issues. We’ve been around longer, so we are more likely to lose the freshness of it all. Our church is growing, so it’s clear that something is working and newer members are getting a lot of value from our service. To me that’s an indication that it’s not the church, it’s the condition of our hearts that we must examine.” I relayed that the same is true of any fast growing startup. Members of the original gang who manage to stay on can become incredible culture carriers for the org. But the majority of them struggle to find their place, spending more time reminiscing on “the good ol’ days” and eventually departing for what they hope to be greener pastures. Keeping that first love with your spouse, with your company, with your church, and even with your God requires intentional effort. But I’ve found that when I fight for that first love with Jesus, my first love with everything else falls in line. When I’m close to God, I move in peace despite the most threatening of work circumstances. When I’m close to God, I cry for joy in the most basic of church services. When I’m close to God, I’m overwhelmed with thanksgiving no matter how unreasonable my wife is. (She’s never unreasonable. That’s just a hypothetical situation.) Lord, when my heart pursues you, you pursue me 1000 times more. And when you pursue me, I am overcome with passion for everything and everyone around me. I desire that first love today, and invite you to bring me back into that place. I also pray covering over Bill and Melinda Gates in what must be a difficult time for them. May you use these circumstances to somehow let them experience a deeper revelation of your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.