July 2023

Looking Forward

I am a list maker. And, I’ve been known to have lists of lists. Before you make any snap judgments about my need to control, let me be perfectly clear: I plan, with a deep conviction that God orders. Besides, whatever latent or repressed fears I may have that things will go awry if I don’t have a detailed list for any conceivable contingencies, He is quite able to deal with them and with my heart.

The reason I am currently making lists is because we are packing to leave for our annual family vacation at the beach. Most everything has been checked and rechecked, and so here I sit getting a head start on the weekly blog post. The pre-vacation preparations may be my favorite part of the whole enterprise. I simply adore the exquisite luxury of anticipation. Well, anticipation of something lovely, at any rate. We’ll leave anticipations that are fraught with anxiety for another discussion.

Looking forward is a posture we may only be able to sustain in a linear timeframe. I have no idea if eternity will offer the same sensation, since eternity is an entirely different set of dimensions which may not include counted time. That being the case, I take every opportunity to enjoy anticipation.

As I contemplate the week ahead with dear and precious family members – we are a gregarious and fun-loving multi-generational group – I am aware of the treasure that is ours in our deep abiding love for one another. During this allotted time, engaging with individuals and smaller family groups is something we take seriously and approach intentionally. There will be meaningful conversations, significant silences shared, hilarious games, and fabulous food. (Somehow the food, simple as it may be, always tastes better when you’ve been in the elements of sun, wind and ocean.)

And then, there will be quiet, private moments of solitude. For prayer, meditation, reading and painting. This, too, is a part of the whole. Getting away from our normal dailiness and distractions and letting God adjust our priorities. We will return, Lord willing, sun-browned, satisfied, and rich with shared experiences.

Dear One, do you have any delightful anticipations in your life right now? In what ways might you engage in anticipation and let your heart praise Him from whom all blessings flow? I urge you to open your heart in gratitude and count the many benefits of belonging to Him, whose plans for you are to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Until next week, beloved, anticipate the One who will surely return.

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