I remember as a kid one of the TV commercials that stuck in my head was for Heine’s Ketsup, yes …“Anticipation”. The idea was that the ketsup was so thick and tasty that we all stood around patiently, in anticipation, for it to finally make its appearance. It took a while, but once it did—wow, everyone was happy and had a celebration!
We anticipate many things in life: graduation, beginning a new job, crossing the finish line of a race, and retirement to name a few. The thing about anticipation is that it requires action for the event anticipated to become a reality. You do not graduate if you do not study; you do not get the new job if you have not developed the necessary skills; you must train to cross the finish line; retirement will not be enjoyable if you have not properly prepared.
My youngest daughter has brought my wife and me (and many others) to a time of great anticipation; although ours does not compare to her or her husband’s as they anticipate the birth of Tristan. I promise you that during the past nine or so months there has been a lot of preparation in the anticipation of welcoming this child! A nursery was made with lots of love; diapers have been inventoried and organized by size; showers have been thrown; medical and health issues have been addressed; their dog has been acclimated to the idea that he will have to share; many other areas have been focused on all in anticipation. And now…the time is near!
I was recently studying the deliverance of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. God gave Moses and Aaron specific instructions for them to pass on to His people. Among those instructions were how they were to prepare a very special meal and then in Exodus 12:11 He tells them, “In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD’S Passover.”
I can only imagine the anticipation the people must have experienced when they heard these instructions. You see they wore long loose garments and the only time they would tighten them up with a belt was when they traveled, also they would not wear sandals in their homes during a meal—the only time they would wear them is when they traveled. And the staff (unless you were a shepherd) was for…you got it—traveling. Being told to dress for travel and to eat in haste indicated to them they were leaving captivity and leaving soon—they ate that Passover Meal with great anticipation and they were prepared!
We need to have more anticipation for what God wants to do in our lives, but with that anticipation comes our obligation to prepare. How do we prepare you might ask? Well I believe prayer is the first step; ask God what He wants to do in our lives and then “listen” for the answer. Reading the Bible is helpful—I have found that no matter what I am going through, He has the answer. Further, sharing our lives with other people often shows us we are not alone in our anticipation or even our concerns.
I also believe we can have great anticipation just by observing God’s glorious creation. Look at a blooming Mayflower Rose and remember it was once a seed. Look at a Giant Sequoia and remember it was once a sapling. Look at a magnificent Bald Eagle and remember it was once in an egg. Look at who you consider the world’s greatest athlete or most brilliant thinker and remember they were once a baby.
I look at my daughter’s first “baby bump” picture and with great anticipation and preparation look forward to holding my grandson and it will be a very happy celebration!