Sometimes I hesitate to reference popular culture because I can quickly date myself. I’ve always thought Coca-Cola did a great job with their commercials. One of my favorites is the one with the jingle “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing.” Are you old enough to remember the Coca-Cola commercials with the slogan “Have a Coke and a Smile?”

Today, at work, one of my co-workers (and friend) set a very cold Diet Coke on my desk. And immediately I smiled. Here’s the thing: I knew it was coming. Moments earlier, he asked me if I would like a Diet Coke. In my mind, I was already thinking about that super cold nectar with its silky foam, and that sweet burn as the carbonation hit my throat. I was waiting for it with great expectation. The anticipation was great. Moments later I hear a “thunk” as the can is placed on my desk as my co-worker walked on by. I looked at it, and immediately, without premeditation, I smiled. I popped open the can, closed my eyes, and took my first sip. It was better than I imagined.

O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.

(Psalm 63:1)

As a pastor, with a job to do, sometimes I don’t set out, with intentionality, to enjoy the anticipation of my time with God. Sometimes I begin my Bible meditation time as a task. Sometimes I begin worship as a line item on a schedule. Now, don’t get me wrong – once I start meditating and worshiping I have some awesome relational time with my God. But, that Diet Coke helped to remind me that I often cheat myself of the anticipation of the Lord. I don’t enter His presence with great expectation and anticipation. The result, I think, is a “less than it could be” experience. Part of the problem, I know, is that I sometimes find it difficult to maintain an attitude of worship in the midst of the mediocrity of life. I fear that I am at risk of my time with God becoming mediocre as well – not because God isn’t amazing, but because more often than I want to admit, I don’t treat God as my first love.

If you would indulge me, please give me 6 minutes and 22 seconds. Listen to this song, “Breathe“, by Vineyard Music.

18 thoughts on “anticipating.his.presence”

  1. May this be the cry of my life: Isaiah 26:8-9 (New International Version) 8 Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. 9 My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you. When your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness.

    My recent post Made

  2. This is a beautiful post. Michael Perkins mentioned you to me and I'm glad he did. I've added you to my Google Reader and will include this particular post in my Friday "Don't Stop Growing" post (an aggregate of posts dealing with how to BE in a sea of how to DO – for ministry leaders). God bless you and the ministry He is doing through you!

    My recent post State of Grace

  3. Great post and so true (Mr. Perkins also sent me your direction). There is a marked difference when I anticipate His presence and expect Him to come. Whether it's a Sunday service or those times alone, it's important. Perfect analogy with the coke- very vivid. Thanks.

    My recent post I Hate Storage Units

  4. "I sometimes find it difficult to maintain an attitude of worship in the midst of the mediocrity of life." Man, can I relate to that!! Love the song too!!

  5. The illustration of the coke being better than you imagine is a powerful one. When I finally "got it" Psalm 42:1 literally jumped off my bible and hit me in the face. As a deer pants for water, so my soul pants for you.

    My recent post A Goose and God

  6. although i have to admit that i cringed at a thought of enjoying diet coke (i am all about the regular or cherry kind), i see your point… I enjoy a tall glass of Coke with ice and a sliver of lemon in it so much that it made my friends at work want to try it themselves and usually they are ranting about how bad Coke is for our health…. (and i think once i'll finish my tea, I am going to

    thanks for the reminder, Herb. it was definitely needed.

    1. At the urging of the "fitness guru" coworker in my office I converted from Coke to Diet Coke – it took two weeks for my taste buds to adjust buy now a regular Coke is like drinking maple syrup to me – thx for stopping by, Zee.

      My recent post anticipatinghispresence

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