Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

February 13, 2005


Anticipation is a gift to be cultivated and celebrated


      We are in the midst of winter. These are days when we wrap up before venturing outside the house to face nasty weather. Those of us who still have an open fireplace enjoy cozy fires on three-dog nights. The sight of burning logs calms us in places medicine cannot go.

          Harsh though winter days may be, this too shall pass. Hope is buoyed by the confidence that spring is coming. The bleakness of winter must inevitably give way to the glory of springtime.

          This thought sprang today from the sight of tiny buds on the limbs of trees that appear lifeless with no leaves. Dormant such trees are now; they are resting yet silently getting ready for a new cycle of life. Soon trees that seemed dead will come alive as green leaves appear and multiply. Those innocent looking buds will explode before long.

          Here is a remarkable characteristic of human beings – in the dead of winter we long for spring. Even better, innately we know it will come. More than an instinct, anticipation is a gift that we can celebrate and dare not fail to cultivate.

          The gift of anticipation is worth celebrating. We may not have lots of money, but if we have the gift of anticipation, then we are not broke. We can anticipate a time coming when through discipline and hard work, we will break the shackles of financial bondage. Without hope, that day seldom comes.

          Relationships at work are difficult. Confidences have been broken. Feelings have been hurt. Colleagues are angry. Yet hope is not dead. We know that broken relationships can be restored through the painful process of forgiveness. Though it is not easy to ask others for forgiveness, we know that life is impossible without a forgiving spirit. Therefore, we can anticipate healing and when it occurs it will feel like springtime.

          There are times when nothing we do seems right. Everything goes wrong at the same time. We feel like we are out of sync with life. When that happens, it is important that we not give up, on ourselves or on others. And we must examine ourselves to find what we are doing wrong and begin doing what is right.

          In such a time, we must reach down for a fresh supply of expectation and nurture what we receive. Cultivate hope and it will grow. Eventually it will become so strong that you will have a renewed anticipation that better days are just around the corner.

          The sweetness of marriage can turn bitter overnight. We can be thoughtless. We can say stupid things that interrupt the flow of affection. In such hours we feel imprisoned by our own foolishness. We remember days when love overflowed and it was like heaven. We long to find our way back to the tender affection we once enjoyed.

          That is where anticipation plays such a great role. We must not lose our expectation that our brokenness can be healed. Common sense will help us to find ways to say, “I was wrong,” and “Please forgive me.”  Then, the torment of soul can end, and perhaps with tears, a stronger bond can emerge. And believe me, when that happens, it always feels like springtime. I know. I have been there more than once.

          If you feel your supply of anticipation has run low, take the time to be thankful for what you do have. Nourish it. Cultivate it, and be patient. Winter never lasts forever. Spring is on its way, and there is nothing like the expectation of it to bring gladness to our hearts. + + + +