What would the world be like without expectations? No inventions, gloominess, no prospect or possibilities for tomorrow? I believe mankind would still be in the dark ages. We live in anticipation of tomorrow, hoping tomorrow will be better, confident that change is coming, but that is seldom the case, isn't it. I make these plans for my day off, scheduled to the very minute, so sure of myself, but seldom getting the list accomplished. I continue to try every day off in spite of my constant missing-the-mark. You know what? That's okay, I'd rather shoot at something and miss, than aim for nothing and hit it. And besides, most of the reasons I may not finish my to-do list is for good reasons. Maybe a interuption from a friend in recovery, or going to see someone who needs a visit, or my normal...afternoon nap. Something very important that I have to remember is that there is no reason to blow an o-ring if things don't go as I expected them to. The more I come to that understanding, the more often my expectations are met.
When it comes to people however, I am not as forgiving. I try not to be demanding on anyone these days, which keeps me from over-expectations of what I feel they should do or not do. An example would be, I don't expect Senators, Repres, the President, well, anyone in politics to achieve much, and I'm never disappointed. I really just don't want them to break anything, leave it like they found it, and oh yeah, hey Bill, Hillary, could we please have the silverware back when you're finished? Today, in this United States, while the press is trying to decide who they want to run against Obama, I have refused to allow myself to be motivated by their manipulating words, actions, beliefs, etc, of the candidates into a circus in my head. I'm just going to pray. I think that politics may not be the best example for me to use. A better example is the closest ones to us. If I have expectations for how my wife and my future should go, we have to agree. If my aspirations aren't met by her, then I get frustrated, and trouble is the result. Instead of trouble, I should talk to her about my ideas so we can set mutual goals...and God will honor that agreement between the husband and wife, the strongest bond known. We can have too high of expectations for our children, based on intelligence or atheleticism. They may not share those ideas at all. I may have high hopes for guys I work with in recovery, that's not good, push them too hard, you'll push them out the door. The things we hope they grasp are the concepts of trusting God, helping others, and keeping their own side of the street clean. Do you place high expectations on your spouse? children? minister? friends? employees? If so, think about what you're doing, lower those expectations, don't toss them out entirely. You must have ambition for these, but keep it realistic. How about expectations for yourself? Get off your own back if you do. Life is life, we all have had these visions of grandeur that came to nothing so often, that we gave up any thought of our personally achieving anything.
My expections of my own life were never met, not even close. Like you, they were too lofty, too unattainable, because I wasn't emotionally or spiritually mature enough to reach them. I am not confident in ant of those goals, in fact, I have no interest in them today. Then I wanted wealth, today godly wisdom. Then I wanted fame, today I only need grace. Then I wanted a mansion for my family, today I want to leave a legacy of faithful service to God and man. My only regret is that it took so long to get to this way of thinking, and all of the unhappiness, and brokeness, a literal trail of tears.
There is one I can place high expectations on, He is unfailing. "Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him." Psalm 62:5 (NKJV) My parents, my wife, and I were talking yesterday. Mom and dad are 81. Mom has followed Christ lifelong, since the age of 8. Dad began his Jesus-journey at 17. Both of them can look you dead in the eye and say, "God has never failed us." In tears of gratitude I can tell you, He hasn't failed them. Through sorrow, sickness, and need, their expectations have been met, God is faithful and true. Jesus was watching many leave Him after He told those following what it took to be His disciple. He asked the disciples if they were going to leave too. They responded, "where can we go? You have the words of eternal life." And His words meet, no exceed my eevery expectation. Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all, Keith.