I remember as a kid, once in a great while my parents, particularly my Dad, would reward us by taking us to Toys R Us to spend thirty dollars each on anything we wanted. I think it was when my Dad had his own business for a few years and he had some extra money. I was on the treadmill today (when I do my major thinking) trying to remember what I ever got. I can not for the life of me remember one single thing. Not one. This is what I do remember though: walking from the car to the store. I remember the parking lot. I remember the yellow lines on the asphalt, I remember skipping there and saying, "Thirty whole dollars on anything I want?" I remember being blissfully happy. And that is it. I don't remember going in the store, I don't remember getting that Cabbage Patch Kid or Strawberry Shortcake or Barbie. Heck, I have no clue what I got. None at all. It's a mystery to me, honey.
People that say "Lord willing" this or that or who say "unless Jesus comes first!" with a look of glee on their faces always bothered me. Somehow it made me annoyed, like they must think they have it altogether or maybe they are more spiritual than the rest of us sinners. I don't know. The feelings are a bit muddled and make no sense, really. I think maybe it is a sort of jealousy, wanting that anticipation they have but have no feeling to back it because I am emotionally bankrupt myself, wrapped up in a full, damp, sheet of numbness. Then I think about wanting something so badly and then finally getting it and not caring anymore whether I got it or not; yes, it has been had and conquered.
But the coming of Christ is not like that. Getting a Cabbage Patch Kid that will later sit in some toy box, or actually, some dump in fifteen years does not come close to the reward of truly anticipating Jesus arriving and all the wonders of what that entails. There will not be a disappointment after our excitement before the arrival, this time things will be different. There will actually be a reward, a new sort of euphoria after the receiving that will never wane. Our sinful hearts will not get in the way, our temptation to forget and cast this "new thing" aside will never be there, and we will finally be where we were always meant to be: truly with God.
So how could I think that those who anticipate the Lord's coming are looking down on me or have something I don't? They don't have something I lack, they just remind themselves, are vocal about it, and remember. They care to remember, and I think God honors that.
I guess my whole point, or rather, what my thought process led me to while I was pounding my joints on that stupid treadmill was this: the anticipation is what we remember when we look back at our memories. That longing is what sticks with us. We long for things, but if you look at the man after God's own heart, he longed for God. He did not displace his longing, he knew that God was the only one who could save him, preserve him, fight for him. He used music as a reminder to long after Him. He was pretty smart, I think.
To me, being the pessimist I always am, this kind of longing, the longing for Christ's return, is the only longing that has an untainted end, complete fulfillment, and never-ending pleasure. Call me a heretic.