An Advent Reflection: Anticipation

Seth Godin said on his blog last week that anxiety is experiencing failure in advance. He suggested that anticipation is its antonym. Anticipation is experiencing success in advance.

These are fascinating thoughts in the season of Advent. Advent is the time of year when we enter again into the story of Mary, Joseph, the angels, the shepherds, and Jesus. It’s the time of year when we force ourselves not to jump ahead to the end of the story but to feel the anticipation (and anxiety?) build.

advent: anticipating love, peace, joy, and hope

Expecting parents are filled with both anxiety and anticipation. My friend Derek shared on Sunday at Vintage about how the arrival of his daughters actually introduced fear into his life. Would everything go ok? Would mom and baby be safe and healthy? How would they grow up? What kind of world would they inherit? It is easy for us to think about worst case scenarios.

And yet pregnancy is also a time of anticipation. Doting over cute clothes and books and painting the nursery and picking a name. It’s a time for dreaming about playing catch in the yard. It’s a time for thinking about all that could be.

So, this Advent season, thanks to Seth Godin, I’ve got a fresh way to think about anticipation. Because of the arrival of Jesus into the world and into my life, I’ve got a sense that things are going to turn out ok, that love, peace, joy, and hope are real and will be fulfilled and culminated one day. But this Advent season, I am going to anticipate them. I am going to experience love, peace, joy, and hope in advance.

 

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