By: Tim Sader
“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” (Matthew 20:16)
Sammy and my first Christmas after knowing eachother we exchanged gifts as a token that our developing relationship was worth a price. We realize now that the marriage we share is one of the greatest gifts the Lord has blessed us with. After the holidays we wanted one thing for the New Year and that was to meet each other in person. This was quite difficult considering Sammy hadn’t told many people about what was developing between us. The first person she told about us was her twin sister Amanda and after we came up with a date they made arrangements to get her to where we would meet. Her sister was busy the day we picked so her girlfriend Alicia was the one who brought Sammy to meet me. My mom had known about us for a while longer so she was the one who brought me to the Mellow Mushroom in Colombia, SC. Our new van was not finished being modified for me so we had to pray our big old blue van could make it. After getting rear-ended on the interstate we didn’t go far from home because we didn’t want to break down. On the day of our date I put on my rarely worn jeans, a tee-shirt my friend gave me from his band and a warm camo vest since it was cold that day. After getting ready we got loaded up in the van and headed out for my new adventure. Surprisingly the van did really well when we got out onto the open road. We found the restaurant but rode past it since we were early. We drove a couple miles up the road but after we turned around we hit a big bump in the road and my head fell backwards off of my head rest. Mom looked back in the mirror and I looked like my head was missing and she couldn’t help me until we could get off the road. Finally we made it back to the restaurant and went in; there was no seating left on the ground level but plenty upstairs. I was thinking how are we going to get two wheelchairs up there but to my surprise they had an elevator. When I got up there they took me to a private room and I noticed Sammy hadn’t arrived yet. Soon after getting there I heard her approaching and when I set my eyes on her the first time I knew this was the beginning of so much more.
After introductions since we were there with drivers who we are forever grateful to; we started looking at the menu. I had never been there before but I figured pizza would be easy enough so we decided on some Mediterranean chicken pizza and a couple salads. While we waited conversation was ok, I told them about almost losing my head and they told me their plans to pick up a dog. After the pizza arrived they put it on a stand so Sammy and I had to sneak peaks around or above it to see eachother. During our tasty lunch there were a few quiet moments while we looked in each other’s eyes but they never lasted long. It was day one together but I was thinking about what was coming in the future for us. Though this was a first date I wanted it to be the last first date because I felt that she could be the one perfect match for me. She may have shown up last that day but from that day forward she would be the first thing on my mind as I would be her first thought too. This is a lot like the way God wants us to be in all of our interactions with others. Those who think they are first will be last and those who humble themselves by being last will be first. To become the greatest we must first be the least by serving others and being salves to their needs. Jesus did not come to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for us all (Mt. 20:26-28). To be first we must be willing to give up on our own agenda sacrificing our lives, blood, sweat, tears, time and money as a way to serve others. He expects this if indeed we want to be His disciple (Mk. 9:35). After lunch we had a little more conversation then it was time to get going. First we took a couple pictures of our first date so we would remember where our love began. We can rely on love, especially the love of God because He is love. If we live to love we are in Him and He is in us (1 Jn. 4:16). As we made our way to the elevator we heard the song “If You Could Only See” by Tonic. Let us not forsake the love we had at first for God, our spouse or for others (Rev. 2:4).
Lord I ask that you take us back to the first time we felt your love and knew that you were calling us to be saved. Your love was calling out to us so that for the rest of our lives we could love others in many different ways. Help us to never forsake you or the love we had for you at first. When we love others God help us to think on how to give our love to them not only on how they love us back. To get love means we are willing to sacrifice parts of ourselves in order give love first. If we willingly become last Lord we trust that you will lift us up when the time is right. In Jesus name, Amen.
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No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16