Anticipation is a messy feeling. With anticipation you just don’t feel a one-dimensional emotion, you feel like 80 things being stirred, mixed and blended inside of you. Kind of like one of those Fear Factor games where they put random objects into a blender that were never meant to be mixed together and consumed by a human being. With anticipation there is this thickness to the air that makes breathing hard work at times. When you walk or run or sit, you can’t escape the weight of trying to clean up all that is going on inside, so then comes the cheap resolve.
We think of everything that would or could or should fix us. Anything to remove the thing that is increasing our stress-level and pushing our patience till we max-out and fall on the floor in exhaustion. Waiting for something to start or end—or just move forward—can be awkward.
Life can quickly become filled with an ambiguous air. In our blurred vision we see the outline, the sketch of what we want our lives to look like, but something is just not right. There is this element of mystery that weaves in and out of our day-to-day living that most of us have grown to hate. We want a new prescription. New eyes. A new something to fix the things that we don’t know how to and can’t.
We feel stuck and unable to mend the loose pieces and floating particles of our lives. It’s a struggle and a fight that is sucking life out of us. We start getting discouraged that the things we want aren’t going to happen to us, and life will always be one step ahead as we trip over ourselves trying to catch up. That we won’t get the job, the relationship won’t last, we’ll never move out of our parent’s house. In the middle of the whirlpool of emotions we start doing more and more, and when that doesn’t work, we give up in exhaustion and accept the invitation of defeat.
Maybe the blurred visions and chaotic whirlpools are more than we see and feel. Maybe all the emotions, frustrations and fears following us in our anticipation for whatever’s to come aren’t signals of defeat. Maybe, they are glimpses of the battle that we are in. Opposition doesn’t mean that defeat is inevitable. It means that the victories we see sketched out in our lives do not come without some struggle and fight. They will, however, come. I don’t know where we got the idea that victory is always easy and that nine-easy-steps will lead us to "our best life now."
Jesus was clear in communicating that, as His chosen, we will encounter rough patches of opposition. We will fall, fail and get beat up. We will share in His struggles, but with that we will also share in the ensured full and rich life He gives. There’s no short cut to life. It’s quite wild, grassroots and messy. Most of the time, we don’t have these clear, outlined victories. That’s why my professor says America likes sports so much. There is always a winner and a loser and no gray areas about it. Our lives often feel gray, blurry and mysterious—unpretty and all over the place. It’s beautiful though.
Bear with the cliché, but, we are all in the same boat that is riding those same whirlpools. There have been and will be days or nights where we don’t want to go on. By this I mean, we won’t want to fight and believe in the sweet truth that Jesus is pouring victory over us. We will want to lie down in defeat and exhaustion. So, as we encounter opposition, we should face it with the people of God and with our King. We yell, get frustrated, fight, cry, fight some more, wait, struggle and celebrate victory and life. Together.
It will not look like a romance movie, nor will it come easy. It will however, be something that none of us can quite articulate or formulate or recreate by ourselves. It will be images of what Jesus meant when He said to love and walk with one another in humility. It will be snapshots of His bride—exposures of the community of Christ. And the greatest anticipation will always be His coming.