Live Expectant || Bryan Halferty

Posted on September 12th, by Bryan Halferty in Heart. 1 Comment

Live Expectant || Bryan Halferty

Before my parents divorced, before I ever heard the word “porn”, before I found myself¬†chosen last against the wall at recess, or uninvited to a party, or heard the word “no” after the sentence “will you go to homecoming with me”; before any of that I collected baseball cards.

I remember my wild-eyed-near-drooling-wonder with a newly purchased pack of cards in hand. Still in the wrapper, anything was possible. Ricky Henderson, Frank Thomas, Nolan Ryan, Ken Griffey Jr., these were the names I hunted for as I flipped through the cards, ignoring the stats, held captive by the pictures.

As a child I lived life this way. I woke in the morning and walked the trails through Edith Moulton Park to my elementary school. Juanita Creek slipped snake-like through the woods, the thin paths all nearly engulfed by brush. It all felt so Narnian. Anything could happen. Then “magic” often collided with the mundane as laughter and excitement.

It was no Eden, sure, I was still infected with sin’s disease, but there was something beautiful in that wild-eyed wonder. I see this now in my daughter, the way she imagines and plays, the way she (in so many ways) doesn’t understand the word “impossible”. In this way my daughter has become my teacher.

Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. Mark 10:15

Criticism, apathy, consumerism, the toughened soul that resists vulnerability and evades hope: this is our destination when the world is our teacher. I have felt my soul toughen and crack like dried leather. I have assumed a posture of dissection, critically dismantling beauty. I have felt both the numbness and ego-centricity of spiritual consumerism, the voice that says “I want more and better” while also saying “I want to actually feel.” Did I mention I’m a pastor? If you’re like me, in silent and subtle ways, the world has been too much your teacher.

As I serve Jesus and live out his kingdom I want to have the wild-eyed wonder of a child. I want to actually believe that heaven is not the far off dream of an ancient civilization, but a reality that touches down in relationships and song, prayer and love. I want to truly believe that while this world is marred by the fall the Kingdom can break in and sabotage hell.

I want to live life expectant.

I walked into Goodwill a few months ago and as my wife meandered through the aisles I veered off away from the T-Shirts and books. I went to the toys, searching for something inexpensive for my daughter. There, after pawing through cheaply formed plastic trinkets, hidden under old board games with odd smells, I found bags of baseball cards. I went home and opened the packs. They were filled with Rickey Hendersons, tons of Mariners, Will Clarks and on and on, the cards of my childhood.

Prayer

God of grace,

soften our hearts–form us into

dependent

expectant

children.

Where the world has been our teacher:

retrain our souls

to see your kingdom

breaking into brokenness,

creating wholeness and

provoking wonder.


Bryan Halferty Bryan Halferty runs, reads, writes, pastors and spends copious amounts of time with his beautiful wife and two children. He studied theology at Regent College (Vancouver, BC) and currently pastors Salt, the young adult and college ministry of Mercer Creek Church. He contributes to and edits The Unitive. Connect with him at @bhalferty.
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One Response to “Live Expectant || Bryan Halferty”

  1. Deb Eaton says:

    At 67 I realized I could grow older but my heart refuses to. Each day I wonder in awe at how God creates. our hearts to turn to Him as our Father. I’m still a little child at heart because of. Him. I can’t wait to play in His heaven. Thats my expectancy.

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