The readings speak of a love turned tepid.
2 “I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. 3 You have patiently suffered for me without quitting.
4 “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! 5 Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first.” Revelation 2:2-4, NLT.
At the end of a year, I’m still running–to keep up with a course load, to school my kids, to manage a house and other responsibilities, to serve at church, to cultivate friendships, and on and on. A lot of my days are just focused on a moment. I try not to look too far ahead, or linger too far back.
There are words of sexual sin and food of idols, of wrong teaching on one side of the scale, and words acknowledging hard work, endurance, suffering, and faithfulness on the other side. A warning to listen.
I know I’ve been so busy at times it seems like I don’t slow enough to listen long enough to hear. Yesterday, I sat in a heap on the floor and prayed–and not the kind of prayer while I dry my hair and pack up books and rush out the door. I just sat–and realized then it had been a long time since I was so still before you.
“Oh, how can I give you up, Israel?
How can I let you go?
How can I destroy you like Admah
or demolish you like Zeboiim?
My heart is torn within me,
and my compassion overflows.
9 No, I will not unleash my fierce anger.
I will not completely destroy Israel,
for I am God and not a mere mortal.
I am the Holy One living among you,
and I will not come to destroy.
10 For someday the people will follow me.
I, the Lord, will roar like a lion.
And when I roar,
my people will return trembling from the west.
11 Like a flock of birds, they will come from Egypt.
Trembling like doves, they will return from Assyria.
And I will bring them home again,”
says the Lord. Hosea 11:8-11, NLT.
He is the Holy One living among (us).
Lord, I want to abide in your presence and listen to you. Whatever idols fight for first place in my life, show them to me. I fool myself thinking that all this busyness is living–I miss you. Help me to be fully present and intentional in my time with you and with others.