Anyone who knows me anyway well at all will know that the word “expectation” is one which I bump into at very regular intervals!
I “expect” people to act in a certain way and when they don’t I can be hurt and bewildered by their actions, or indeed non actions.
I “expect” too much of my own self, end up “doing” too much and then wonder why I am cross and grumpy , when often it is for no other reason than physical tiredness.
A friend tells me of a time that she had to show much grace, as someone in her church told her that she wasn’t behaving in a way that was “expected” of a ministers wife.
All these examples of “expectations” makes me wonder as to why I am quite so conscious of this word. And without over simplifying things, the conclusion I’ve come to is that I think expectations can be a good way of setting safe and realistic boundaries, most of the time.
My challenge to myself then is, what then do I do when my expectations are un-met?
Well for me, one of the first things I most often need to do is PAUSE, BE STILL and know afresh that God is, as He always is, in control. I also need at time to stand back and to remember that providing I am not consciously going out of my way to offend or hurt someone, then what they do and how they “act” is their responsibility, mine is how I “react.” When I meet these road bumps in life which can throw me, am willing to pray the Fathers blessing on and for the person, or into the circumstances which have caused the bump in the first place. And lastly, I find that sometimes I need to ask myself , am I more concerned about expecting to receive within this situation, when perhaps I should be concentrating more on giving and blessing others.
Sister Stan in her book “seasons of the day” writes of an “awareness giving perspective to the journey of life.” I like that. I like the idea of an awareness of my expectations giving me a right perspective on this journey of life.
And so I pray…
“Lord will you give me a daily awareness of your perspective please.
Will you help me to see others as you see them and to then extend grace folded in on grace to all I meet.
Will you remind me that it’s your job to fix- mine to pray.
And Lord will you help me in the midst of any muddled thoughts, any confusion and any hurts to take the time to “be still” and in being still to know you as my always safe anchoring harbour place. Amen”
Yours in Him,
I wrote the following poem a few years ago now. It is one which I often come back to in my own prayer time, and it would seem like a good one to add at the end of this “expectation” blog, both for myself and for others.
“Grace folded in on grace,
like corners of a paper plane which then takes flight, and dances,
‘till it softly, slowly, gently, lands.
Grace dance with me this day
Grace land on me this day”