I’ve heard it said that expectations are premeditated disappointments; or premeditated resentments. It wasn’t my intention when I set out, but I just proved that statement true!
We were Christmas shopping and I had a definite plan of what I wanted for someone, where I’d find it and how much it would cost. Although my ever patient husband suggested we look in other stores, I refused. I was so sure of myself that the other shopping was done first and this item left to the end.
I’m sure you can guess where I’m going with this. When I came to the designated store, they didn’t have what I was looking for. I was frustrated and knew I’d have to start all over again. This meant going back to stores I’d passed by earlier. My expectations had caused unnecessary stress.
When I finally entered one store with an open mind, the number of options surprised me. My only difficulty was narrowing down the choices.
I’d like to tell you that this is the only time expectations have caused me trouble, but that wouldn’t be the truth. In all areas of my life when I set expectations on how something has to be done or how it needs to turn out, I’m facing the risk of disappointment. This is not to say that I should never have a plan, only that I need to remain flexible and open to other options. Sometimes the best solution is something I would never have thought of.
“My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations.” Michael J. Fox
In the changing area of most fitness facilities there are lockers. One locker is not better than another and yet I have my favourite. For over eight years now I have been using the same locker. One day last month I arrived to get ready for my class, only to see someone else putting her belongings in the locker I use. I froze, wondering what to do. There were lots of other lockers available that had the capability of holding my belongings. The fact that it was so difficult for me to choose another one came as quite a surprise.
This wasn’t a onetime occurrence. It seems this other person has laid claim to what I considered my locker. She often arrives earlier than I do so that has given me plenty of opportunity to be flexible when it comes to choosing another locker. I must admit though, that I will go back to my old one when I find it available.
Looking back on this, I see how it could relate to my life. I become so comfortable with “my stuff” and where it is stored that I don’t think about until I am forced to. Maybe what I am most uncomfortable with is change. Changes in my life are inevitable. Jesus is the one part of my life that is constant. He sees the secrets that are in my emotional locker and loves me anyway. It is only through his unchanging love for me that I can be truly set free.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8 God’s Word Translation
After 2 weeks of wearing either sandals or aqua socks, my feet screamed in protest as I laced up my running shoes. Normally I wore aqua socks when we went for our morning beach walk, allowing for elastic stretch and flexibility. This day we had planned a more challenging walk so the support of running shoes was needed. My ankles felt as though they were being strangled! I understood why the firm support was needed, but it was an uncomfortable transition from the freedom and flexibility I’d quickly grown used to.
This was an accurate reflection of my life. When everything is going smoothly I enjoy the freedom and flexibility in my day-to-day life. Then, when things become more challenging I realize that it is firm support that is needed to carry me through. Even though deep down, I understand the need for this firmness, I still chafe at the loss of my freedom.
When my life is placed in the loving hands of the Lord, he will guide me with the support I need. It may feel uncomfortable at times but in reality gives me much more freedom than I have ever had on my own.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36 NIV