I’m sure many of us have heard of the phrase “there’s a first time for everything” at least once in our lives. Simply put, it just means that for everything we do, there had to have been or will at some point be a first time for doing that certain thing. In fact, there had to have been a point in your life in which you heard this phrase for the first time. One thing that I’ve learned throughout my experiences is that the first time you do something is almost always the best, most memorable time. Whether it is a trip that you frequent, a view, your first year at college, or maybe your first time performing in front of a large crowd, those “firsts” are moments you will always cherish.
I will never forget the first time I ever started for my varsity basketball team. I was a bench player, averaged about 3 minutes a game, and only came in if we were winning by a lot or losing by a lot. For the first 19 games of the season, I scored five total points in all the games combined. In the 20th game, we were down by about 30-40 points and I got called off the bench to come in the game with about two and a half minutes remaining. In those last two minutes and 30 seconds I scored 11 points. I made three 3’s and another jumper to become the leading scorer in the game. I couldn’t believe it, no one else could either. After scoring just five lousy points all season, I came in and dropped 11 points in just a little over two minutes. Three days later, we were having our shootaround the morning of the next gameday and my coach informed me that I was going to be starting that night. I was shocked, nervous, and had no idea why I was getting this opportunity. I played nearly 25 minutes that game, and will never forget how tired I was throughout the game just because I was not used to being on the court for nearly that long. I scored 7 points that game, started for the last six games of the season, and averaged nearly 10 points a game. I went on to become varsity captain my senior year, but no matter how much I played or scored in my last season, those games never topped the thrill or excitement of getting my first ever start.
I have been blessed enough with the opportunity to go to Scotland on four different occasions for mission trips. Each time that we went, some of the sightseeing we did was the same every year. One of the places we visited every year was called Kinnoul Hill, and I remember the first time I ever got up to the edge of the cliff and looked out over the land, I was in complete awe. I was blown away at how amazing the view was. Every year after that when we went back, even though the sight was still beautiful, it just did not have the same impact on me that the first time did. Similarly, last summer I went to Yellowstone for a few weeks, and saw the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life and I remember thinking to myself, I just don’t understand how anybody could get used to these. But, much like what happened in Scotland, the people who live near Yellowstone probably do not view the wonders in the same way I did. The views get old. This seems to happen almost every time we have a “first” in our lives. No matter how amazing the event is, it just will never top that first experience. Eventually, you start to get used to it, it becomes old news.
There is one thing in my life however, that will never get old. One thing I can read over and over and over and still be amazed at what took place, still be in awe of the magnificence that was witnessed. That thing is the death and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Take a moment and read through the 19th chapter of John. We read of a crown of thorns that is twisted and forcefully placed on Jesus’ head. We read of soldiers mocking Him and spitting on Him. In verse 26 we read of His mother, standing by and watching all of this take place, and Jesus looks at her and says, “Woman, behold, your son!” And I read all this and think why? Why would Jesus go through all this pain for me? And the answer to that is love. A love that we can never fathom. A love in which God was willing to sacrifice His only son on the cross, so that our sins may be forgiven (John 3:16). A love so strong that even though we are sinners, Christ died for us on that day (Romans 5:8). And then, just three days later, we see Him rise from the dead. He conquered death by coming out of the tomb and fulfilled the prophesy that had been spoken of Him for generations. Then Jesus appeared to His disciples, instructed them to tell all of what happened, and later ascended into Heaven. To think that He did all this for us, people who do not nearly deserve it, is so crazy but logical all at the same time. To think that there is someone out there who loves us so much that He is willing to go through all that pain and agony to give us a chance to be with Him in Heaven one day always humbles me. That is why I ask you to take a moment today to remember that our God sacrificed His son for you. Thank Him for all that He’s done. Jesus will never be old news, so spread His good news to all that you come into contact with.
By: Isaac May