If you pause today long enough to reflect, what are your expectations? Go ahead. Take a moment and mentally create your list of what you expect to have happen today. Inspecting your expectations may lead to some life-changing discoveries if you’re willing to attempt to line up your expectations with God’s expectations. If you’re like me, you’ve wrecked too many of your days with your expectations.
Here are some good ways to ruin your day or to ruin the day of those around you. Expect to get your own way. Expect people to say and to do what you want them to say or to do. Expect everyone to like your ideas and want to do what you want to do. Spend all day just doing everything you have to do or doing what everyone else wants you to do. Create a long to-do list and drive yourself and others to complete it before the day is over. Get frustrated and mad whenever you don’t get what you want. Blame, shame, scold, pout, or blow-up on those around you when something is said or done that you don’t like.
As I’ve been inspecting my expectations, here’s what I’m discovering. God wants me to slow down and to look for the sacred in my ordinary moments. My creative God is revealing Himself through His creation throughout each day, hoping that I will slow down, look, listen, and experience Him. What if God is speaking in and through the people around you, waiting for you to listen? What if God is working in and through you to impact His children around you. Wouldn’t you pay more attention to people and how you relate to them if you expect God to be working above, in, and through you and through others?
What if you expect that each time you go outside, you will be encountering God through His creation? Ever-changing skies, landscapes, breezes, trees, flowers, and animals all reflecting God cause you to give thanks and to engage Him in prayerful conversations. Didn’t God make you to commune with Him through everything that He’s created?
Yesterday was a great day. My morning was filled with good challenges and great opportunities, but when I ventured out in the afternoon, everything seemed backwards. In the midst of nothing feeling right, God bumped me into a new Ken Gire book, Seeing What is Sacred. I’ve been in tears, captivated by reading Ken’s stories that have touched my heart. Last night, I was sitting outside reading to my wife a perspective-changing story from my new book, and, out of nowhere, my “kids” from out-of-state showed up with their new puppy. I instantly got melted, because I love my kids and because I’m the world’s biggest dog-lover.
I got up early today and enjoyed time alone with God, and I spent the morning playing with my new grandpup so that everyone else could sleep in. I took “Remi,” the golden retriever pup, to the farmers market where kids of all ages made friends with Remi. I found some of my favorite friends from Spirit-Driven soccer, as well as my Amish friends, and reconnected with my old neighbors. Remi jumped up on a little baby’s stroller and licked my friend’s baby in the face, and everyone was so happy to see him. As I saw God loving His beloved children through a little puppy, I got a glimpse of what’s sacred. God showed up unexpectedly to do what He does best…love His children. Then I got this nudge to write about expectations.
Come and reflect and wonder with me. What if we start to expect the unexpected? What if we expect God to reveal Himself in and around and through us each day? What if God’s lessons are unfolding all around us but we’re missing most of them because we’re too busy, too driven, too distracted, or just preoccupied. What if we’re sacrificing what’s sacred for what’s temporal? What does God expect of us? Why not ask God to align our expectations with His?