“Hope for the Best. Expect the worst. Life is a play. We’re unrehearsed.” ― Mel Brooks.
It’s funny. You dream of a day, a meal, an experience, a career and it doesn’t turn out the way you expected AT ALL!
Sometimes we aim too low on our expectations and we are pleasantly surprised. Other times, and likely much more frequently, we expect too much from something or someone and it doesn’t happen the way we hoped.
Let the wailing and gnashing of teeth begin!
Expectations can be the death of a relationship (and sometimes that is ok) but a dose of reality is always important.
Take my most recent haircut, for example.
I always agonize when we relocate because it surely means two things: I need to find a new mechanic I can trust and I need to find a new person to cut my hair in a way that looks good on me.
Ugh on both points!
I have been avoiding a haircut since September when we moved. I did break down and get a trim in February but that is all I had the courage to do before yesterday. And by yesterday I was already way overdue for a haircut. I called in the morning and she could take me at 1:30 the same day. Wow! I was excited! I even had this photo as an example of the cut and style I was interested in.
Granted, I was not going to wear makeup and I was not dressed quite as fancy and I don’t have the same smile BUT this is what I walked out with:
I guess it is close, but not close enough to what I was hoping for. This experience reminded me of some important truths:
We are working with people who most often do not always see things from the same perspective or we have more confidence in them than is warranted.
And let’s take it a step further: We are dealing with people who have some deep wounds we don’t know about or they think have been healed or ____________ (fill in the blank)!
Working with human beings is pretty tricky stuff. When we are deep in a relationship with someone we sometimes experience some very difficult things with them. Other times we miss things that are very important for others because we are in the middle of our own stuff. All of that messes with expectations: yours, mine, and theirs.
Pay attention to your relational expectations. Even if they are truly justified and reasonable, sometimes the other party is not in the same book as you, let alone on the same page.
I do believe God’s grace covers a multitude of sins. I have a multitude of my own sins to worry about. So while I might want to stomp around being ‘justified’ about my irritations or aggravations I most often need to move along and let God work on me and my attitude. As I ponder His grace poured out on me and my life, it feels pretty stingy to withhold it from others.
Are you struggling with expectations today? How do you work through those times of disappointment when you or others have “dropped the ball” or intentionally challenged your hopes and dreams?
When I am in a good space, I tend to seek God on the matter. When I struggle with it the most it seems I have drifted a bit from God’s perspective.
As for my hair, I just have to wait for it to grow out. I suspect that strategy of waiting (and praying) works well with a multitude of unmet expectations. I trust that God will work it out even when I can’t possibly see the solution.