Devotional: September 9th
Watching children at Christmas time has always been one of my greatest pleasures. Seeing them tear into their gifts with a sort of maniacal glee is a joy for me. It means that they're excited. With our world of so many overblown concepts and approaches to things it's still good to see the genuine excitement of someone when they receive something that they were hoping for or wanting very badly. My children have grown up but still have a little bit of that excitement. Probably you do, too.
Take Mark Hamill for instance. In the closing sequences of the original Star Wars movie he climbs out of his X-wing fighter and rushes toward Princess Leia who has just shouted, "Luke!" His response? Without thinking he shouts, "Carrie!" Oops. One of those times of excitement got to him. He had just dispatched the bad guys and was returning triumphant as a master pilot and warrior. Even in make believe the excitement got the best of him and he shouted the name of the actress playing Princess Leia instead of shouting, "Leia!"
Consider Kirk Nelson, a forty-three year old club pro from Hawaii, who got to play in the 2003 Sony Open. In the first round Nelson hit a 256 yard 3-wood second shot to the green on the par 5 18th hole. The shot was so well struck that the producers decided to replay the stroke for all to see on the giant Jumbotron screen behind the green on the final hole. According to Nelson's own admission, "I got so excited watching the replay, I three-putted for par."
You've seen it, I've seen it. That moment that defines excitement. A groom saying, "I do," at the wrong time. A budding actor involved in his eighth grade play bursting onto the stage prematurely. A young person showing up half an hour early for their first job. Or even an employer seeing a young person show up for a job. It's the extraordinary, the breath-taking, the awe inspiring moments of life that yank us out of our mundane reality into the realm of exuberance. Like the apostle Paul when he got a glimpse of Paradise as he was lifted up to the third heaven.
"I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago; whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows; such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man; whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows; how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter." 2 Corinthians 12:2-4 Paul's excitement fueled a bit of modesty as he masked his experience in anonymity. The point is this, the excitement in Paradise is so intense that you hear things uttered which define feelings heretofore never expressed. The day that we get to see and hear that, then we'll know excitement.
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