10
Oct
16

WHAT DO YOU EXPECT?

blue-teardropI am not sure you can make a strong case to call any season other than fall the Best Season of the Year.

Look at all fall has going for it: comfortably warm daytime temperatures, cool, great-for-sleeping nights, trees exploding with brilliant color, kids back in school, football, Christmas closer, but not too close yet, Pumpkin Spice Everything, and SWEATERS!

Love those sweaters.

As glorious as my experience of fall generally is, I could not help but notice a tiny speck of sadness in a distant little corner of my heart the other day. I was not entirely sure what it was or where it came from, so I bent down to have a closer look.

And as I strained my eyes and peered inside, I finally saw it… a single, blue teardrop. And I recognized it immediately. It’s name is: The Sadness That Comes When the Royals Are Not in the Playoffs.

And as soon as I recognized it I thought, “Well that’s a pretty stupid thing to be distressed about!” It caused me to stop and realize that I have been a diehard Royals fan since moving to Kansas City in 1974, and in the span of that 42 years they have only appeared in the playoffs nine times, winning the Ultimate Prize just twice.

Put another way, that record means that 80 percent of the time players on the Kansas City Royals baseball team are sitting at home on their own couches watching the MLB playoffs… just like you and me.

And yet, perhaps because of their recent success, I have somehow come to expect… maybe even require… that they be in the playoffs every year.

Sure… it is always the team’s goal to appear in the playoffs. But the standards of performance to actually get to the playoffs are so high it is unrealistic to EXPECT it every year.

That little bit of awareness led me to stop and wonder how many other areas of my life I might be able to identify where other, similar unrealistic expectations might be at work.

What about in the area of health? Do I expect to experience perpetual good health?

Do I expect endless financial security? Or 100% happy, conflict-free relationships? Or perfect, sunny, San Diego weather all the time?

Do you expect any of those things?

I feel confident in saying that I hold out HOPE for all of those things. But I am not sure I would go so far as to say I EXPECT them.

Because as we all know: stuff happens. Third basemen, left and center fielders get injured. Freak storms pop up. Infectious viruses spread. Feelings are hurt.

To expect to live a life free of those types of setbacks and complications is to live without a firm grasp of reality. It is to live demanding that the universe conform to me and my needs instead of the other way around.

Fortunately you and I are able to rely on a strong base of scriptural teaching – breathed by and inspired by God – that can help us more accurately calibrate our views of the future.

Proverbs 19:21 gives us a good starting place in terms of how we might think about our own expectations for the future: “The human mind may devise many plans, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will be established.”

Paul’s letter to the Roman church helps guide us in the way we understand HOPE what it means to have hope for the future when he says, “For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” (Romans 8:25, NRSV).

There are countless more, but why don’t we finish up here with a word about what it means to look to the future with FAITH: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1, NRSV).

 

Looking to the future with faith puts God at the center of things. Looking to the future with EXPECTATION, puts me at the center.

When in doubt… always go with God. You’ll never regret it.

Abundant blessings.

 

 


1 Response to “WHAT DO YOU EXPECT?”


  1. October 11, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    I have unrealistic expectations of my churches! I expect them to be in the “playoffs” every year.


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