From the moment I awoke this morning, I have literally been counting the hours and minutes until I make the 84-mile journey to the Leon County Civic Center in Tallahassee, Florida. For several months, I have been anticipating this very night. Several weeks ago, our tickets came in the mail. Every time I have seen them on my desk, I have pondered, with great anticipation, what tonight would be like. And now, the time has finally arrived. Tonight, along with my Dad, I will have the opportunity to hear Dr. David Jeremiah speak. It is hard to imagine that all of those months of waiting have quickly gone by, and now, April 14, 2011, is here.
Isn’t it funny, though, how we can eagerly anticipate such an event so much? We look forward to it for days, weeks, months, or maybe even years. At first, it seems so far away. In fact, there are times when it seems like the days just drag on and on and on. And then, seemingly out of nowhere, it comes upon us like a whirlwind. Once the highly anticipated date arrives, the event comes and goes so fast that it is easy to have it breeze on by without truly relishing in the moment. Sometimes, it seems as if we did not even really experience it at all. As Christians, Jesus wants us to enjoy our lives. We need to ensure that all of our experiences are valuable, cherished, and enjoyed. We need to savor every moment we have here on earth. And when we anticipate an event, we need to be prepared, just in case everything does not go according to plan.
While many things that we anticipate will happen according to our plans and will generate long-lasting memories, some of the things we greatly anticipate will not go as planned. And in reality, they may not even happen at all. Often, this can lead to great disappointment. I can recall a time when I looked forward to attending Livestock Judging Practice, one of my favorite activities when I was involved in the local 4-H program. I greatly anticipated this event, but I never once thought that I would miss the practice and that the day would end as it did. As a young teenager, I had taken my bike up the driveway to get the mail, just as I had done many times before. This time, however, my tires were not rolling on solid ground and after hitting an uneven patch of grass, my bike quickly crashed to the right with me in tow. To complicate matters, I was thrown directly into the barbed wire fence.
I got up, got back on the bike, and rode straight for the shed. Yes, you read that correctly, the shed, not the house. I could tell me neck was bleeding from where the wire had punctured my skin. So, my “bright idea” was to go to the shed, wash it up, and then be able to go to judging practice. Talk about dedication, right? I knew that I couldn’t go to the house to wash the wound, as that could result in my Mom suggesting I stay home. So, after I did what I could do in the shed, I entered the house. My Mom saw the wound and her face had a look of horror. I thought, how bad could it be?
In reality, I had a fairly large gash in my neck, right near my juggler vein. If the wire had punctured my neck in a slightly different place, this could have been a life-threatening accident. And to think, I was just going to “wash it up” and go on to judging practice. I mean, I had anticipated this event and I did not want anything to get in the way. Instead, I found myself going to our family physician, receiving stitches, a tetanus booster, and antibiotics to prevent infection. This was surely a change of plans, nothing like the afternoon I had highly anticipated.
Even though my plans changed, God knew best. Perhaps a trip to livestock judging practice would have resulted in my Mom and I being involved in a fatal car accident. Or maybe I would have experienced a permanent injury, much worse than the one I received from the bike accident. Even though our human minds may anticipate an event, and we may do everything we can to prevent something else from interfering in our plans, there are moments when God says, “Not now.” We often have grandiose ideas, and sometimes, these are wonderful experiences. Other times, our ideas are simply unsafe or ill-advised. And of course, God may have something even better in store, if we will simply lay aside our own expectations and learn to expect great things from the One who sits on the throne in Heaven above.
If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, there is one event that you can look forward to with great anticipation. It is an event like no other ever seen. And it is one that will not be interrupted or cancelled, if you make a commitment to be a friend of God. God’s Word shares this awesome promise in Titus 2:13-14 (NIV): “while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” If you want to have something to really look forward to, call on Him today. He wants you to be a part of this great celebration that all Christians highly anticipate. Seek God’s face and be delighted at the amazing opportunities He gives you to look forward to on earth, all the while seeking and anticipating the arrival of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Now, that glorious day is certainly worthy of great anticipation!
In Christ’s Love,