2 am…Two brothers are nestled in each of their twin sized beds wearing Spider-Man “jammies” and not sleeping a wink. Giggles and wide-eyed expressions are fixed upon the faces of two rambunctious boys staring at each other across the divide created by the nightstand, while soda pop and pure excitement takes hold of them. In a heap at the foot of each bed is a clump of covers that my brother and I had kicked off in total abandonment. There will be no sleep tonight; for tomorrow an event will take place that my brother and I have waited all year long to enjoy. We are taking a trip to the mountain…Six Flags Magic Mountain.
The early morning silence is broken by warnings from my parents bedroom like: “You boys better get some sleep. You’ve got a big day tomorrow.” Are they joking? You can’t sleep on a night like this! Planning must take place. You need to know exactly what rides to get in line for first. A rot-gut, cavity inducing treat must be consumed right after “Colossus”, a swig of full-blast Coca-Cola must hit the lips just before getting drenched on the “Log Jammer”, and no dairy products can be gulped just before the “Buccaneer”…or you know, “yuck” hits the pavement. How can two little boys be bothered with sleep when we must conquer a mountain tomorrow!
Some of my fondest childhood memories are of my brother and I at that “Magic Mountain”. Now as an adult with a family of my own, I am trying to put into words the feelings we had the night before our trip but, I’m finding it’s harder than I thought. There was elation, yes. Giddiness certainly makes an appearance. Joyous expression tends to leave its marks upon our faces. But, the most compelling and deepest felt emotions we had the eve of the excursion were: Anticipation, Longing, and hearts full of Expectation.
Absolutely, the day is jam-packed with fun and games, in and of itself. We both will run until our legs give out and the last bit of sugar rush has finished its course. The ride home will be dead silent in the back seat because two brothers will be sawing logs in that ugly brown station wagon giving my parents the final segment of peace they were looking for all day.
Really, the emotion I cherish most when I think about those memories, is the anticipation my brother and I felt the night before as we talked, schemed and dreamed about what we would accomplish the next day. We had a longing for the events that the morrow would bring.
Those were such magical times(pun absolutely intended). We enjoyed that night before with an invigorating anticipation that brought us both such joy, such peace. We had no adult worries like: Will the radiator overheat in this old station wagon? Did we bring enough money to cover all the expenses? How much overtime will I have to put in this month to pay for all this? Those questions just don’t exist when enraptured in joyous expectation of the events to come.
As this memory began to roll around in my head like a marble swirling around inside a bowl, it hit me. Why can’t I end each of my days with that feeling of longing as I did the night before that trip to Magic Mountain? Why don’t I wake up each morning looking for the miracle that God would bring that day. Then the answer to my questions came very simply and without much pomp and circumstance. Here is the big revelation; and you don’t want to miss this next sentence. We CAN. Yes, it is that simple. My desire, each day, is to have an attitude that expects to be touched by God, used by him in the lives of others, and most of all, getting excited about what Jesus is doing in my family’s life right now and what He will do tomorrow.
Yes, the “Colossus” will accelerate downhill making your face widen and your hair become tousled. You also, could wake up in the morn by being led by the Spirit in all your ways. This will put a smile upon your face that will freak out other people making them ask: “Why are you so happy?” Which will lead to the response: “Because the joy of the Lord is my strength”. Then stand back and watch that mind-bender roll around in their head as they take quick inventory of their lives or quickly put up that wall.
It has been said that life is a “rollercoaster”. I pray it is so for me. I want all the climbs to the top and the wonderful exhilaration of a weightlessness as I fall downhill until gravity catches me again, crushing me to my seat as I rise some more. I get excited as each day unfolds. The challenges come, God overcomes. Praises rise up, blessings begin to arrive. Joy becomes shared and others begin to see all because an attitude of anticipation, longing and expectation of what our awesome God will do in the days to come.
When thinking of a scripture to pair with this post, I think David captures the attitude of longing for our Lord in: “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.”-Psalm 73:25(NIV)
Each night, every morning, desire God. Long for him throughout your day and you will capture that childlike rapture while feeling the anticipation of what our Great and Holy God will do in your life and the lives of others around you. Then instead of daily drudgery, you will go about each hour with that smile that each one has as the coaster screams downhill.
Enjoy the poem below.
If you would like to, please share with me your childhood “anticipation” memory in the Comments box below.
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The Great Plains Poet
A Slice Of Joy That Waits For Me
by Chris T.
Oh I delight in the eve of the night,
In the time when we will be quiet together,
The time in which we speak and connect,
At the closing of my day which brings elation and peace.
Your words are engraved upon the tablets of my heart,
The precepts you formed for me to adhere,
So my path will be straight and true,
I rest in the hand of the Almighty King of Kings.
My heart is full, to the point of burst,
For, you have so much to show, so much to teach,
And in the morrow, waits a surprise,
A slice of joy that waits for me.
This attitude has become electric,
As I consider what might transpire the day ahead,
Will someone come to know, will others begin to see,
The all-encompassing love that gave me the smile which I beam.
No more morose expression hardened upon my face,
Sparkle in my eyes belies the chat we’ve shared.
As I bring your love to another soul,
While unwrapping the present that you planned for my day.