This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link up. More can be found here: http://fiveminutefriday.com/2017/06/08/adjust-your-expectations-fmf-link-up-expect/
Working in palliative care, I think I’ve lost much of my ability or habit of expecting things. Life has been proved to be unpredictable and day to day, it’s rare for any timetable to go exactly to plan.
But when I stop and think, I do still have expectations – not so much of events but of people and their behaviour. I expect them to be polite, well mannered, to say thank you. I expect other drivers to follow the rules of the road. I expect people to be honest and to keep their word. I expect them to listen and take in what’s said to them.
I suppose I have this ideal picture of the world and those who live in it, myself included, so when someone doesn’t live up to my expectations, I feel immense disappointment. And the person I am hardest on is myself.
I wonder if God has expectations of me, an ideal view of my life and behaviour? And I wonder how He feels when I miss the mark?
I believe in a perfect God, who never falls short. However, He doesn’t always live up to my expectations because my expectations are flawed and faulty. Somehow He perfectly balances love, mercy and forgiveness with justice and perfection in a way that my small brain finds hard to fully understand. I suppose, in a way, that His perfection lies in that balancing act.
My aim in life is to become more like Him. And as I get older, I think that’s not so much about living up to incredibly high standards of behaviour as approaching everything and everyone with love. And that can mean taking a breath to try and understand why someone acts in a certain way, making allowances for them when I feel frustrated, remembering that I make mistakes too and treating them as kindly as I would like to be treated.
That doesn’t mean accepting bad behaviour as ok or not standing up for what’s right. It’s a balancing act, where we somehow hold these apparently opposing stances at the same time. It reminds me of some of the poses in my yoga class – seemingly impossible to get into that position but becoming gradually more achievable with practise.