“I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. 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.” (Revelation 2:2–5, NIV 1984).
My Musings – Yet. One of two words you really do not want to hear after a commendation (the other word is “but”). For most, however, a commendation without a yet or a but is a rare occurrence. That’s because we are still growing. And the “higher” we achieve, the farther “the height from which [we fall].” But that does not mean we should stop climbing. The fall hurts, and we should never forget that, but we also must remember the height that we fell from and how satisfying it was to have reached that far. With the prospects of climbing even higher. In the words of an old Beatles song — “get back to where you once belonged…go home.”
Two Saturdays ago, I fell off a ladder while trimming a tree in my backyard. Or as I like to say “the ladder fell out from under me.” The result was the same no matter how I say it. Falling on top of the ladder on my left shoulder blade and left hip, I am still not over the pain completely, but I am making progress. Whoever said about such things, “it hurt my pride more” was all wet. But in the physical realm this is a perfect example of things I can do (even at age 66) and things I shouldn’t be doing (because I am 66). The same principle holds true in the spiritual realm. There are things we can do (“all things are permissible”) but that does not mean that we should do them (“not all things are profitable”).
My Advice – If you are laying on the “ground,” having experienced a spiritual fall, you have two choices. Remain “down there” or “Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.” The latter (not ladder) is the better choice. This is where my analogy breaks down a bit, however. If you are a “senior citizen” like me, perhaps doing the things you did at first (when you were younger), like getting back on the ladder, is not the best advice. In my mind, it seems a bit early to be giving such things up, but the rest of my family are saying, “let’s hire some tree trimmers.”