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.
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.