Eager Expectation
By Anthony Casperson

Recently, I received an email from a board game company whose current project I backed on Kickstarter. It struck me when I read the update that I’d nearly forgotten I still had something to wait for. It had been a while between updates. The long silence allowed my excitement of the coming reward to cool.

When I first backed the game, excitement caused me to search out every piece of information I could about the project. I poured over the non-finalized images of the contents. Gaming YouTube channels playing the prototype filled my time watching entertainment. A new update hit my mailbox daily. I even became upset that the updates always came late at night, because I wanted to read them as soon as possible.

The arrival of that amazing day in the future when my reward for backing the project was finally mine was all I could think about. It pervaded my thoughts throughout much of the day. And I spent most of my free time looking around for more information.

But then life happened. New things came into my mind. Real objective things that I could hold right now invaded that focus, including other games that I could play without having to wait. Not to mention, I had to get things done for work and this website.

Add to that, the updates slowed to a snail’s pace. Daily emails rapidly became monthly. And eventually a few months came to pass between each new reminder of the upcoming event.

I’d forgotten because I’d allowed the excitement to wane. To be honest, it was probably a little unhealthy at first anyway, but losing interest entirely could lead to a waste when the day finally arrives for my reward to come.

As I sat there reminded of the excitement for the game, my mind wandered to areas of godly truth where this same cooling of excitement comes when we followers of Jesus are not reminded of the amazing upcoming work of God.

Though I could go several ways with this thought (and my intention when I readied this idea for the blog here went along a different one of those directions), I’m going to focus on the greatest reward awaiting we who follow Jesus: his return. The day when Jesus returns to call his faithful to him.

It should excite us to think about that future day when he’ll give us new, sinless bodies. The moment that the reign of sin and death comes to a complete end. It’s the day when we followers of Jesus will see him finally bring true justice to his creation.

Romans 8:19-23 even reminds us that creation itself eagerly awaits his return. The complete revelation of the children of God allows sinless freedom to return to the universe. Creation is said to groan in distress like a mother giving birth, awaiting the new life to make its appearance.

And not only does creation await in excited and eager expectation, we followers of Jesus, we who have received the down payment of the Holy Spirit, should groan in expectation of the day as well. Our reward for backing the true King of all creation will come.

Quite often, early in the experience of deciding to follow Jesus, there’s an excitement for his return. And more often than I’d like to admit (at least in the circles I’ve been a part of for much of my life) when these newly backing members enter into their relationship with Jesus and learn about the upcoming events and reward of the end times, they like to dive deeply into the information.

Charts and graphs of predictive prophecies are piled about as various videos play that purport one person’s understanding of what will come to be. Updated information flies before their eyes on a daily basis. And if we’re being honest, it’s not really all that healthy to focus so much time on it all.

But then life happens. There are more immediate concerns, whether practical or theoretical. A nearness of new ideas and actions come into play. And our excitement of the return of our King cools.

We won’t really realize until we’re reminded once again about the coming reward that our excitement had waned. Hopefully at that time, some of the excitement will return. Otherwise, part of that reward might just end up wasted. Living in light of the truth of Jesus’ return motivates us to live in line with it, which in turn increases our experience with the reward.

While thinking about Jesus’ return should never keep us from acting as his agents of truth in the world around us, allowing our excitement for it to cool should never happen either.

So, like that email about the kickstarter project that I backed rekindled some of that excitement for a small piece of earthly entertainment, I hope that this little statement might just be a reminder in our lives of the eager expectation for Jesus’ return. And in that renewal of excitement, we can join our brothers and sisters from the past who called out, “Come, Lord Jesus, come.”