That's gotta be it for me. My house is messy, and stays messy, until I think someone might come over and see it. Then all the rooms I think they might see get cleaned. I anticipate their coming and change my behavior. Supper, most days, doesn't get started until my husband has asked about it (whether on the phone as he's coming home from work or after spending an hour lazing on the couch) and I jump straight on it--in hopes of later avoiding "Oh my stomach hurts! I should have eaten sooner!" from him. I anticipate his discomfort, and I actively do something to avoid it.
I think there has got to be a spiritual application here somewhere...in anticipation of Christ's return we should go out and witness more...or something...but I just thought about what motivates me because after two weeks of "stuff" in our hallway, I cleaned it all up in anticipation of a visitor this afternoon (and found a 6-month old check in the process--oops!). And the visitor DID come in, and I had no anxiety-butterflies in my stomach because if he saw my hallway, big whoop! It was clean.
I don't think I'm alone in this. My little guy doesn't like to do school work during school time (or so he tries to convince me). I ran across a half-completed handwriting book this afternoon and I told him that I wanted him to finish the book this summer. The first look on his face was, "Phthp." I pulled out a sheet of stickers and before I even said a word, he squealed and took the book over to his table right away. Anticipation of getting a sticker was all it took!
I wonder why anticipation ranks higher than love. Isn't love supposed to be the greatest thing out there? Maybe anticipation is just another word for self-love. I don't want to look bad, or I don't want to be inconvenienced later, or I want a sticker. Maybe the spiritual application goes in a different direction...