Lining up, just before the gun at the start of a marathon, the first serve in a squash game, or the whistle at the start of a football game, gives me goose bumps. I know that I have prepared, well I am still young enough to remember when that was true. I know that I can play the game, in a humorous way at least. I know that there is at least one winner and one loser so it is important how I play. Yet I wait in uncertainty. Is it going to work? What will happen? Is this really a good idea?
The combination of questions forces us to pause in the stillness and grace of that moment in time. If I shut my eyes I am thrown back through a myriad of moments where decisions hung in a balance, just waiting for someone to take the first step forward in the twenty-six point two mile race. The tension is both physical and mental. The excitement is as real as your belief and confidence in the future. The question unasked but present is the foundation for that belief and confidence. In what does your hope lie?
I love the thrill of competition. It doesn’t really matter what the event is, the nature of competing brings out the intensity within. Once the competition is on then the event itself often determines my ongoing level of enthusiasm. The initial surge and rush can turn into something much more devoid of emotions, yet the lingering sense of what the competition is all about remains.
We are starting many different things in new ways. Different work responsibilities await. New Year resolutions sit waiting for us to pursue them. Relationships are open to opportunities of strengthening and deepening. As I wait I wonder if I know the source of my hope. As I reflect, prepare, and move into my stance, I know.
“The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word. The Word was God, in readiness for God from day one.” (John 1.1, 2)