by David Phelps
“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.” - Mother Teresa
Singer Tony Bennett is well known for performing his signature song, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." During an interview, he said that he sings it at every performance. The interviewer asked him if he ever gets tired of singing it. He replied, "Do you ever get tired of making love?" The interviewer, somewhat embarrassed, assured him that she didn't. And he answered, "Well, I don't get tired of doing what I love either."
When you love to do something, it doesn't matter how long you've been doing it or how often you've done it. You still love it. Like most children, our ten-year-old daughter, Monica, could eat pretzels, chips, cookies, and ice cream until they came out her ears, and still love them. Each of us has a book, song, movie, or television show that never seems to grow old, no matter how many times we read, hear, or watch it.
My wife, Charlotte, and I have seen our share of up's and down's during our marriage. But we still love each other. It might not seem like it at times but we still do. We might not feel it as strongly at some times as at others. But we still love each other. Similarly, Monica has been an unending source of joy for Charlotte and me but she has also been a source of frustration. If you're a parent, you'll immediately understand. We love her more than life itself but sometimes she can really send us into a "tizzy." But we still love her.
It's the same with our faith. If we love God, we can continue in our Christian life even after the "new" is gone. God will continue to make our experience "fresh," so that we can find new joy each day. God has promised that ". . . those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (Isa. 40:31b NIV). In the weeks following the resurrection, the earliest believers ". . . continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people." (Acts 2:24b-47a NIV). Everyone could see their love in action. Later, Paul urged the Galatians, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." (Gal. 6:9-10 NIV). As we "do good" -- not merely to other believers but to "all people" -- our love and joy will be evident. The author of the epistle to the Hebrews wrote, "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." (Heb. 10:23 NIV). If we hold to our faith, God will hold on to us. God has promised not to let us go (Deut. 31:6-8; Heb. 13:5).
If we truly love God, we'll never get tired of praising, never get tired of worshipping, and never get tired of serving. We might be physically tired. We might not feel well. We might not be in the best of moods. Things might not be going our way. But we'll still serve and praise God because we have God's love within us. Others will see our zeal for God, and they'll know if it's real. Paul told the Colossians, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God." (Col. 3:16 NIV). We'll sing the song of praise in each of life's performances, and we won't want to sing any other song, because we'll be doing what we love. We will not get tired of loving God, our strength, our song, and our salvation (Exod. 15:2; Isa. 12:2).
"I love to tell the story, for those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.
And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song,
'Twill be the old, old story that I have loved so long.
"I love to tell the story, 'twill be my theme in glory,
To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love."
("I Love to Tell the Story," vs. 4.)