unexpected expectations

“A thing long expected takes the form of the unexpected when at last it comes.”    – Mark Twain

What is it that you look forward to? What is it that causes you anticipation, glee, tummy tumbling joy? What is it that brings elation and hope to your daily life? Not merely that relaxing drink with close friends at the end of the day; or the exotic cheese platter awaiting your indulgence when you arrive home; not even that imminent winter break in Mexico or the Mediterranean. What are the really BIG things that draw you into the future with anticipation, as if a vision of grandeur were summoning you to greatness?

When we are young we aspire to all kinds of greatness. “I want to be a doctor.” “I want to be a Senator.” “I want to be a futbol star.” In my youth I schemed of being a CIA agent. Er, never mind; let’s not go there.

Charlie Brown (Peanuts comic strip) once said, “I’ve taken 100 shots and hit my target every time!” Lucy asks, “What was your target?”  “Earth.” There is a common axiom that reads— If you aim at nothing you are bound to hit it. How many of us go through our lives aiming at nothing? Hitting marks that do not matter. Winning at checkers or tic-tac-toe.

Could it be that our expectations of what’s to come are too meager, insufficient to meet life’s challenge, pathetic yearnings that barely offer us glimpses of what could be if we only put out just a smidgen more effort? We aim at earth…, and that is all we get. There must be more.

The key secret of life is to set our aspirations HIGH, even though we may never achieve them, the stretch will take us further than we might have imagined.

But there is another secret to realizing our expectations— learning to adapt. The reality of what we expect to come may arrive quite differently than we had expected. God’s little surprises that reshape us and recreate what we thought was great, morphing into something so much more. Never doubt that the God of the Universe will grant you greatness; but it may not be the greatness you expected.

Great expectations ahead!

Gary

longing

          Throughout our lives we pursue things that we hope will give us fulfillment, happiness. Too many believe that happiness comes through acquiring money when, actually, it merely eliminates a fear of poverty. Some find “the ultimate rush” in sex, alcohol, drugs. Others look for their significant other, in hopes that they will find their own soul in relationships. Expectations in relationships can be disappointing. Some find meaning in status, success in business, music, design, or theatre.

Yet, underlying all of these pursuits is something deeper— longing. British author C. S Lewis once wrote, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” Quite a point to ponder.

Disappointment can be a major catalyst, igniting our deepest inner longing. Not the trivial regrets we feel when we realize the frivolity of some things. Rather those depth-of-soul longings for something more, something deeper, solid, and incorruptible. We want a security found in the bedrock of all being as the sanctuary for our lives.

In recent times, the value of soul, of a single life, has been so diminished that those of us who remain barely react to the loss. The Evening News has dulled our senses. Yet we are vessels without a rudder when a death comes near. It shakes us. We have no emotional or spiritual mechanisms to cope with this new, final reality. Thus do we float on a vacuous sea of fog, with no rudder or compass to set us back on course. For me, this has always seemed a forlorn loss of deeper resolution.

I, too, have this deep longing. Yet I know that, someday, it will be utterly fulfilled in a restoration of my soul with the God who made me, and made us all. Is this a naive fantasy to which I cling? I think not! There are too many compiled coincidences in my life for this longing to go unsatisfied. Although, it may be in another world, most likely, I do have such great expectations to anticipate in my future. How about you?

Have a nice week,

Gary