“My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” Psalm 84:2 (ESV)
One of my favorite things in all of sports is the National Anthem. This may sound odd, but when I hear it, I really only can associate it with the start of games. From a young age, watching my uncles play professional soccer, the anthem marked a spark of emotions and the anticipation of what was to come—the exhilaration of the stadium noise, the fans, the goals, and the sheer pleasure of the spectacle of sports.
As I matured and reached collegiate and professional levels, it was my turn to stand at midfield and listen to our nation’s anthem; it still sparked emotion. It was and always will be a trigger. The feeling that rushed through me was still that of anticipation, but it was different. Now it was anticipation of the task at hand, the feelings that would drive me for 90 minutes; I developed a routine that still is with me; my body instinctively moves to certain bars of the song in a certain manner. It was my preparation; it was my few final minutes to let the truths I know of soccer ready me to play while it drove my emotions to a point of almost euphoric pleasure.
Though my playing days are done, the routine is the same; anytime I hear the national anthem; those feelings of anticipation come back. Yet, that anticipation for the start of a game is nothing compared to my anticipation for the return of Christ. Let yourself be filled today with the emotions of anticipation; see what happens. Feel the coming of Christ; feel the power of redemption; feel His love, and feel His grace.
— Ryan DiNunzio