Your First Time

As seen in the HEARTbeat and the Village Voice

“Your First Time”


            We have a lot of firsts in our life.  Our first trip to our grandparents’ house (that we can remember), the first time fishing, the first time we drove on our own, and shortly thereafter our first car accident!  We can remember our first date, our first love, our first prom dance and the gentleman or lady we went with.  Tucked away in our brains is all the firsts in our lives just waiting on the right trigger that initiates that memory trace – the pathway to that memory.

            What do I mean by memory traces?  These are the pathways from our conscious mind to the “storage” part of our brain.  These are triggered by events, people, or even (hold on to this), smells.  As a matter of fact, the strongest memory traces are chemically based.  As a thought, do you remember an old girlfriend or boyfriend when someone walks by wearing the cologne or perfume they wore?  We certainly do.  The odor is a chemical that triggers that memory trace, good or bad.  I can remember walking into the basement for the first time my father and mother purchased when he retired from the Army.  The odor was pungent and smelled of a damp cellar.  What made it unique was the previous owners aged wine in the basement, wine made from the grapes he personally grew.  Decades later, my wife and I took a tour of the Wiederkehr Wine Cellars in Altus, Arkansas.  As we stepped into their aging room in the cellar, the smell of the room immediately took me back to my first entrance into Mom and Dad’s basement.  It was the chemically-set memory trace that recalled that “first” memory.

            Do we have firsts in our spiritual life?  We certainly do!  Imagine for a moment Simon Peter’s first interaction with Jesus.  He was a grumpy fisherman.  His business owed debts he couldn’t pay.  His brother Andrew had already met Jesus the day before and told his brother “I have seen the Lord!”  The next day Jesus stood on the bank and asked, “Catchin’ any?”  They responded with a no.  Jesus told them to cast their net on the other side of the boat.  Simon thought it ridiculous but did it anyway.  Their catch was so great and miraculous, in an instance Simon knew he was in the presence of the Lord.  I’m sure he remembered that “first” for the rest of his life.

            Do you remember the day you gave your life to Jesus?  I hope you do, because it was one of the most important days in your life, your first encounter with the risen Savior!  It was, as some call it, your re-birthday!  How about a day you led someone to Jesus?  Did the joy you remembered on your re-birthday come flooding back from your memory?

            Every day can be a day of firsts.  God used Simon, Andrew, James, John and the rest of the apostles to do miraculous things, through the Holy Spirit.  We have the same Holy Spirit in us!  Today, look for the opportunity to bless someone with a word, a smile, or maybe a chance you can help them, for the first time, find Jesus.

  Mountainside Church · 301 Elcano Drive
Hot Springs Village · AR 71909

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