A couple of surprise trips stand out in my memories of childhood. On one occasion, I came home from school on an ordinary day, expecting nothing. My plan was to eat some chicken noodle soup with crackers while watching Popeye cartoons. Such was my industrious youth. Unannounced, my dad said, “Come on, get your stuff together. We’re going fishing.” Great thoughts of big bass circled through my mind all the way to the lake. It didn’t matter that we didn’t catch anything. Just anticipating the trip was fun enough, especially since my mom and dad were doing this all for me, just to be with me–fishing.
On another occasion, just as unexpectedly, I was invited by my dad to take a trip with him to New Orleans–to the Sugar Bowl to watch LSU and Nebraska. All football is fun, but LSU bowl-game football is really a blast. The trip through the southwest Louisiana rice fields and crawfish farms was glorious–not so much because of the scenery. I had seen crawfish farms times without end. I barely noticed them on this trip. The glory of the trip was the anticipation of a football game with my dad. Football games are fun, and when they are attended with your dad, they are all the more glorious.
These two occasions stand out in my mind because they picture what our life in Christ is like everyday. Everyday, we are closer to our goal of attending glory in the presence of our Heavenly Father. We live in anticipation and in expectation of the glorious day of our arrival in the kingdom of our God and Father. We have a feast awaiting us. We have the fullness of worship awaiting us. We have unhindered delight awaiting us in a place where sin can no longer spoil the joy. Indeed, the fulfillment of our glorification will never end. The glory of my anticipation of football and fishing ended. Both events were gone in an evening. The Sugar Bowl was over. The lake trip ended. But the glory of the presence of God will only increase without end. At His right hand are pleasures forever (Psalm 16:11). Imagine everyday of our life on earth as an advance toward that day when our joy is made complete.