In each of the four Gospels, there is an account of Jesus sending two of his disciples to a village to get a young colt to bring back to him. He plans to ride it into Jerusalem to fulfill the prophesy referenced in Zechariah that says that the king of Zion will ride into Jerusalem on a foal of a donkey, a colt. Mark 11:2 tells us that this colt had never been ridden before.
Jesus was the first person ever to ride upon this particular colt. I think this is significant. Aren’t we always celebrating our firsts? We celebrate our young children’s first steps, first teeth, even their first haircuts. I will never forget my first job (cashier at Walgreens), my first crush (Ralph Macchio, the Karate Kid), or my first car (1994 Red Hyundai Excel – hatchback). I’m sure it doesn’t take you long to recall your first date and your first kiss.
There’s something special about our firsts. Something sacred. We see them as worthy of celebration, and we remember them fondly. (usually) This young foal didn’t realize it, but the first time he was ridden was incredibly important.
I wonder then why it is that we sometimes rush these firsts. Why we don’t consider the importance, the sacredness of these moments when we’re in the moment. I couldn’t wait for my first date. My parents wanted me to wait until I was at least 16 before I went anywhere special with my boyfriend. So for my 16th birthday, my parents gave up their concert tickets to us to see Brian Adams. They later found some last minute tickets on sale and got them for themselves, and, no kidding, we double dated. Yes, my first date was with my boyfriend and my parents. And I couldn’t have been happier.
I felt like a princess. I felt like I’d entered into this new circle of people. People who had permission to show affection for their partner, in public, without fear of it getting back to their folks. It was a pretty big deal.
I also remember the first time I had sex. In the moment, I knew I’d entered into a new stage in life. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a stage I was quite ready for. I was pretty young. And it was a pretty big deal. I didn’t realize how big of a deal until much, much later when I got married and wished that I could have shared that big deal with my husband instead of this guy I dated in high school that I didn’t talk to anymore. I wish that I had known then that this new stage in life couldn’t be reversed. I wish I had known that after that moment, each moment that I spent with this boyfriend or any other boyfriend wouldn’t feel special enough unless I was being physically intimate with them. There were many times after that first moment that I wished I was back to necking and holding hands. But that was never enough. And so I rushed into that part of a relationship way before I ever should have, and because of it, I have some really messed up views about sex between a husband and a wife.
I wish I could take it back. I wish I could find the nearest delorean and whip up a flux capacitor and go back in time to tell that young girl that she will one day want that moment to mean more than it does. To tell her that she should wait until the moment will be perfect for her and her husband. To warn her that once she has that first moment, all other intimate moments after it will pale in comparison, and that she should offer that first time to her spouse only.
Firsts are very important, and we should protect them as if we are protecting something precious to us. Because one day we will wake up and realize that it was one of the most sacred moments in our lives.