Maybe I’m a little weird but I like to watch people meeting at the airports. I could stay ll day watching the reunions. I enjoy watching the people, especially around the holidays, as they stand and wait behind the security barrier. Some stand there seeming pretty disinterested as they wait for their passenger. It might be a colleague or a spouse and this travel happens so often that there is no excitement when they meet. Some don’t even embrace but just ask how their flight was. But then there are others who stand there with friends and family and you can feel their excitement was they wait for their loved ones. They have signs and flowers and gifts of all kinds. They keep checking the monitors and one reports back to the family. “She’s expected to arrive in 20 minutes, 10 minutes, 5 minutes…” and then, “ It says she’s arrived !!” It shouldn’t be long now!” They laugh and the anticipation is felt among all those waiting. “Oh, is that her?” “I think I see her!” Finally, the meeting happens and there are embraces, kisses, laughter and great joy. I remember this from my own childhood when air travel was a big deal. Most of my mother’s relatives came from California and there would be years between visits. So when my grandmother or aunts, uncles, cousins would be coming, we would start out early and make sure we were there in plenty of time. It was an event. We’d all be excited as we waited at the gate (you could do that then) and watched the plane taxi up to the building. I still remember the joy of those reunions. We have all had moments of anticipation. It may not have been at the airport, but we all know the feeling of being excited about something that’s coming up soon.
What would it be like if we could live with this sense of anticipation each day? What if we were to wake up and be excited about how we would meet God that day? Will God be at work, or in the eyes of my children, or in the woman in front of me in the grocery line, or in the person on the ramp of the expressway or in the quiet of the evening when the stars come out to dance? Where will God be? Well, here’s the secret: God waits for us throughout our day and some of us, like the people at the airport who pick up travelers frequently, don’t even look anymore. We’ve seen it all before. We just mark our days with little excitement and even less joy.
Advent is a time to have new eyes and a heart filled with anticipation and excitement about our lives. No two days are alike and we never know how God will sneak up and surprise us. If we live with that anticipation, like those waiting for loved ones at the airport, we will surely not miss God when he comes to visit. Let’s all try this year to live with a sense of excitement about our lives and not take any of our moments for granted. Rejoice, He is near so let’s not miss him!