I’ve been thinking this morning about expectations :
- I suppose some of this comes out of a week of watching the Olympics in Beijing. One athlete wins a bronze medal and is ecstatic! Another wins a bronze and tosses it away. So much of these reactions have to do with expectations.
- Saturday evening, I watched Rick Warren interview both Barack Obama and John McCain. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Rick Warren went beyond my expectations for the evening.
- I was in conversation with a man not long ago. I noticed that most of his comments were laced with cynicism. It occurred to me later just how low his expectations were of people and even life itself.
- The other day, I received a nice note from a guy I recently met. I had no idea that he would take the time to write such a note. It was very nice. This went far beyond my expectations.
I’ve noticed this. Some people have very low expectations of most everything. They don’t expect much from life, themselves or God. They have a way of putting a twist on most anyone’s comment so that the negative is emphasized.
It is Monday morning. What do I expect from the day or the week?
1. Expect to see beauty. Your expectations matter. Some people wake up in the morning and they see everything that is negative on their way to work. Others notice that flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and the sunrise is beautiful. For a number of years, I missed this! In recent years, I have tried to be more conscious of the beauty that is all around me.
2. Expect to do something positive today that will enrich someone else’s life. Maybe you don’t have the most exciting job. Perhaps you are troubled by what is going on at work. Yet, I have found that in the middle of a mess, God can use me to brighten someone’s day in a small way.
3. Expect to speak in ways that bring hope and joy to someone else. So many people speak in ways that are draining and disheartening. They look for the negative and go on and on about it. They are cynical of other people. They have a way of questioning someone’s motives, good works, etc.
4. Expect to brighten someone’s day by being gracious. Do you know just how important this is? Someone’s world can be made a little brighter by hearing another say "Thank you" or "Good job." I have really tried to be conscious of this. I have found that so many people rarely hear this and appear to be amazed when they hear these words. (By the way, it is important that people who serve and use their gifts in various churches hear this as well. A person who has been teaching 5 year olds for years and years might appreciate a "thank you.")
5. Expect God to be at work. Far too often my own expectations of God have been far too low and my expectations of people have been far too high. Not good. Does this mean that I understand what God is up to at any given moment? No. I don’t have to reduce God to the level of my understanding and comprehension. At the same time, I believe that the God of the Bible is a God who is active.
What about your own expectations? What expectations have become a part of your thinking?