Tuesday, March 06, 2018

"The State of Expectation"

Luke 3.15-16 NASU

“Now while the people were in a state of expectation and all were wondering in their hearts about John, as to whether he was the Christ, John answered and said to them all, ‘As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I , and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.’”

Where am I? That’s a good question. Here’s a better one… Where do you belong? 

Where am I? I find myself wedged in a highly predictable routine... get up, brush teeth, go to work, come home, eat dinner, go to bed, and repeat as necessary for the next 20 years. 

Where do I belong? In “a state of expectation”.

To be fair, there are bright spots of inspiration in my redundant patterns of existence. They flash before us when I read my Bible, greet my children, or drink coffee with my friends. My heart goes ‘pitter-patter’ whenever think about my home, dogs, family, extended family, my dearly beloved wife, or Jesus. When she was alive, I always felt exhilarated by Adonica’s gentle touch or kiss. But even then, as now, my life was fairly habitual and could use a little kick. 

I sometimes remind myself of Mitch Robbins’ hilarious self-analysis in the 1991 movie City Slickers. Standing before his son’s elementary school class on ‘Bring Your Dad to School Day’, Mitch, played by the very funny Billy Crystal, offers this pathetic forecast…

“Value this time in your life kids, because this is the time in your life when you still have your choices, and it goes by so quickly.
When you're a teenager you think you can do anything, and you do. Your twenties are a blur.
Your thirties, you raise your family, you make a little money and you think to yourself, ‘What happened to my twenties?’
Your forties, you grow a little pot belly, you grow another chin. The music starts to get too loud and one of your old girlfriends from high school becomes a grandmother.
Your fifties you have a minor surgery. You'll call it a procedure, but it's a surgery.
Your sixties you have a major surgery, the music is still loud but it doesn't matter because you can't hear it anyway.
Seventies, you and the wife retire to Fort Lauderdale, you start eating dinner at two, lunch around ten, breakfast the night before. And you spend most of your time wandering around malls looking for the ultimate in soft yogurt and muttering ‘How come the kids don't call?’
By your eighties, you've had a major stroke, and you end up babbling to some Jamaican nurse who your wife can't stand but who you call mama.
Any questions?”

The Mitch Robbins in me needs a good dose of John the Baptist who could whip anyone into “a state of expectation.” When John spoke of another man whose sandal thong he was “not fit to untie,” he captured the imagination of even the most calloused crowd and left them “wondering in their hearts” about “the Christ” who was to come.

That’s where I belong. In “a state of expectation.”

Artist unknown in painting above.

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