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Proper preparation builds anticipation

By Dale Marks
Special to The PREVIEW

Many of us are familiar with the Charles Batch adage, “Proper preparation prevents poor performance.”

When we first arrived in Pagosa from the flatlands, I wanted to make certain that my road bicycle was properly tuned for mountain rides. When the technician looked at my bike, he told me that the gearing was perfect for the mountains so the problem I was having had to be with my motor, much to my chagrin.

Whenever we set a task or goal before us, we inevitably anticipate good results or we probably would not have started it in the first place. But, without proper preparation, those good results are apt not to happen. Without focused preparation, our anticipation loses hope and our preparation becomes arduous and joyless. Kind of like going Christmas shopping the morning of the experience and the gifts could fall short of our expectations.

When the fires came close this summer, residents were told to prepare for the possibility of it approaching their homes. When the weatherman forecasts more snow, some tune up their skis and snowboards, while others tune up their snow blowers. Their preparation leads to anticipation of the event. Hearts and minds are turned to the expectation of what is to come.

On a night long ago, we’re told of an army of angels filling the skies, proclaiming with joy that a Savior had come — the Promised One of old who would bring peace to His people. That’s why during this Christmas season we sing the lines of that great hymn “Joy to the World” — “ Joy to the World / the Lord is come! / Let earth receive her King! / Let every heart prepare Him room.”

We’re told to prepare our hearts to receive him, to make room for Him. And when we do, the hymn’s refrain tells us that all of “Heaven and nature” joyfully sings. May your heart be prepared to anticipate and receive great JOY this Christmas.

The author is the senior pastor of Grace in Pagosa Church. You are invited to join others as they gather together to worship on Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. at the Ross Aragon Community Center. You are also invited to a special Christmas Eve service on Dec. 24 at 5 p.m., also at the community center.

This story was posted on December 5, 2013.