That's the first word I thought of when I saw my great-granddaughter Makenna's sparkling eyes focused on the coveted cupcake.
No matter what our age, ANTICIPATION is the spark to ignite our get-up-and-go and it also provides the energy to do so. Lack of anticipation, nothing to look forward to in our lives, spells depression and gives us a downward shove. If we settle for the same old-same old and wake up in the morning without the expectation that today may bring something good from the hand of God, our passive negativity will take over our lives like the weeds in an untended garden.
My neighbors, Doug and Linda, who joined our delightful family party for my 90th birthday, said they searched amazon.com for a gift book specific to the occasion, something that had the number 90 on it. The only one they could find was a Scholastic children's pictorial with text and art work on the pre-teen level. They gifted me with the book, “NOTHING EVER HAPPENS ON 90TH STREET.”
They just knew I would accept the challenge of doing something interesting with the story of Eva, a youthful wannabe writer whose teacher told her, “Write about what you know.” But the young girl keeps scribbling in her notebook, “Nothing ever happens on 90th Street.”
But it turned out that when she anticipated that something surprising could and would happen if she invested something of herself into the lives of each of the neighbors on her street, it would have a domino effect.
And that's exactly what happened! It changed the dynamic of each of their lives and gave her more than enough to write about. I know my neighbors are chuckling to themselves that they knew I would use their book in some way for a blog post!
Anticipation is so critical to our well-being physically, socially, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We are created to look forward, to set goals, to press on, to keep on keeping on even when aging comes upon us and we feel as if we are losing ground.
Anticipation faces outward; it doesn't focus inwardly on ourselves and our human condition. Anticipation looks beyond what is, to what could be. Anticipation requires our cooperation to invest in others through care and prayer and interest in more than oneself and our own circumstances. Anticipation changes us, and our attitude in turn changes others.
GOD PROVIDES US WITH ANTICIPATION. He knows we need it. He has put within us a forward-looking spirit that stretches toward tomorrow and beyond. He has created us to anticipate dwelling with Him for Eternity. We are not born to live permanently on this earth in our “earth suits.” He has given us sure promises of what is to come, cupcake glimpses of what He has prepared for us. It is beyond our finite understanding.
Nevertheless, He surprises us with little serendipities here and there that reflect His goodness, remind us that we are only pilgrims here, and whet our appetite for Heaven. Jesus' promise, “I go to prepare a place for you, and...I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am, there you may be also” causes us to stand on tiptoes of anticipation as we reach to understand His meaning.
Meanwhile, let us anticipate what we can do on “our own 90th street” to lift up our neighbors and friends and family to consider eternal matters. God has planted us to grow where we are and to reach out to those around us. We can make something happen on our particular 90th street to alert our friends to look with us in anticipation beyond the mundane of life, beyond the unremarkable, ordinary routine to the Sonrise that awaits us upon Jesus' promised return!