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Anticipating Eternity at Easter

My favorite day of the week has always been Thursday. In college I thought that was due to “must see tv”, but I’ve come to realize that I love anticipating things.

I am at my best and happiest when I have something in life to look forward to.

I love Thursdays because it’s the day before the weekend, when my hubby is usually off work, my children might have less activities to be taken to, or we may have some fun night out ahead of us.

My love of anticipation extends especially to trips and travel.

When there is a major trip or vacation on the calendar, I am thrilled with the thought of what’s to come and launch into planning and preparation. Months in advance, I begin planning my wardrobe, and yes, my diet and exercise routines are in full swing 4 to 6 months out. And I’m guessing I’m not alone in this manic pursuit, am I? 

I’m in that mode at this moment as we have a family getaway immediately followed by a week long trip for just my husband and me, to attend his Masters program graduation and celebrate our Twentieth (!!) Anniversary. I have faithfully stuck to my workout goals since the first of January, and have made progress on my weight loss goals as well, because I really want to look great over the course of those two weeks.

I have loved the anticipation. 

One day as I walked circles around my house attempting to meet my step goal for the day, I thought about how much I love the anticipation of an event, and the event itself, but how it’s always followed by a slump.  When everything I’ve prepared for for so long has come and gone, I have an empty feeling.  Then, I thought, “I sure do spend a great deal of time focused on preparing myself for something that will come and go, only to feel a sense of being let down once the event is over.”

And then the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear…

What if I put the same amount of energy into preparing my soul, and those of my family, for eternity as I do for these worldly events? What if I was as concerned with the state of my soul as much as I am with my fitness and weight?  What if hard work of Lent really does become transformed into a beautiful and rich experience of Easter. . .and eternity.

The beauty of the Church is that she builds these times of anticipation right in to the Liturgical calendar.

Advent and Lent (and every Friday, to be canonically correct) anticipate, or look forward to, the death and resurrection, and thus the opening of the gates of Heaven!  We get to live and re-live this anticipatory season and bask in the joy of Easter on the regular!

They are perfect opportunities to direct my love of anticipation toward our Lord and Savior, not just trips and travel and the temporal.  I get to prepare for Eternity.  Our God has built in to my very essence, a deep rooted desire to anticipate eternity with Him while providing the perfect mechanism in the Catholic faith for me to meet that desire!

And perhaps the very best part of it all is that the anticipation of Heaven won’t end in a slump as worldly anticipation inevitably does, because eternity is, well, just that.

Happy Easter!

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Elizabeth Jara

Elizabeth is part-time home schooler, part-time Youth Group and Confirmation director, and full-time wife and mom of 5.

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