Before batteries made toys work there were wind-up toys. Though rare, they still exist. My favorite is the balsa wood airplane with the wind-up rubber band powered propeller. The downside is that after every flight you have to wind it up again for another flight.
Life is like a wind-up toy in that most things, over time, wind down. We start something with great enthusiasm and energy, but before long that energy and enthusiasm winds down. I’ve seen it happen in various areas of life.
I’ve had many a person report to me their enthusiasm for a new job and how much better it was than where they previously worked. In no time at all, however, I find myself listening as they lament about all of the problems at work and how they are, again, seeking a different and better place of employment.
I recall folks who started to attend the church I pastored and were so excited at having found such a wonderful place to call their new church home. They’d contrast how great our church was to the church they had come from. Soon, however, they were coming to me with complaints about our church and not long thereafter were gone, presumably in a search for a new and better church.
I recall seeing a middle-aged couple holding hands as they walked. I thought to myself that this was truly wonderful, a couple that were the age that you’d assume that they had been married for years and yet were still treating each other in such an endearing way. I was so bold as to ask them how many years they had been married. They were middle-aged newlyweds! I wasn’t surprised; many older couples, married for many years, treat each other with little respect, expressing impatience and annoyance with each other.
People can get excited about finding God, talking of the joy of experiencing His forgiveness, describing the meaning that comes to life from putting Him first, and the peace that He brings. But in a few years, or maybe even a few months, that fresh love for the Lord can seem to dissipate and they are back to being much their old selves.
The reality is that almost every aspect of life, left to itself and given little attention and effort, will wind down. The key is to be intentional about keeping things great and even growing. It’s not too late! The balsa toy plane will fly again if I just put forth the effort to wind up the limp rubber band motor! Those areas of our lives that have wound down can wind up being something better again, if we decide to do something about it!
“You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first…” (Jesus to the Christians at Ephesus in Revelation 2:3-5a)