Most of our lives are driven by the hope of outcomes. We stage a play each day in our minds of how things could break for us, how life could turn our way. We are focused on expectations. From relationships to business, political hopes, to sports dreams. Every day, what wakes us from our sleep is the expectation of an eighteen hour block of time being better than the last.
The reality however comes when our head hits the pillow and we come to understand that some of those "Great Expectations" have been met, others dashed, while a few were just simply forgotten about. All of this makes me wonder what drives our hopes and desires. What is it about our hearts and minds that allow our expectations to hijack us like a coal car barreling down the rails of dark shaft. The ride is fast and long but the reach for the handbrake becomes more and more difficult the farther down the mine of expectations we run.
Maybe Calvin and Hobbes were right. "I find my life is a lot easier the lower I keep every one's expectations."
Maybe an eight year old Calvin can deal with a more balanced life of expectation than I can.
Dickens saw it when he wrote the classic, "I never had one hour's happiness in her society, and yet my mind all round the four-and-twenty hours was harping on the happiness of having her with me unto death."
His story of Great Expectations
, tells the story of our expectations. That whether something is ultimately good or bad for us, we're governed by the hope of it coming to be in our lives. Even if "one hour of happiness" is all we feel, we beat and scratch for it the other twenty-three long hours.
Whenever we find ourselves in the midst of a situation, a decision, or a problem, we scream for balance. Balance becomes the expectation. But that reality is more elusive perhaps than any other expectation. Will my life ever settle into a balanced, healthy one? Will my views, lifestyle, and hopes reflect a "mid-expectation" world?
But that world is boring, and maybe that's no world I want to live in. Really, after all our work and toil is done under the sun we still need to come back to the realization that everything is for nothing if we don't have something rooting peace deep into our souls.
One of the joys of being human is the hope of expectation. It can carry us through the darkest of hours, and the deepest of disasters. The greatest of expectations is the hope that contentment and peace can actually be experienced in this life. The hope that when my head falls on the pillow top, it finds true rest and not continual uncertainty.
The greatest of expectations belongs to the peacemaker. The one who in all opportunities strives for peace because peace is found in his or her heart always.
And these shall be called, "Sons of God."
Peace is set in the hearts of the sons and daughters of God. The reality of hope, not the expectation of hope, has calmed them to know and love peace, to feel and experience peace, and balanced, content lives here on earth, waiting for the greatest expectation... the coming of the king of peace.
The One who will set every expectation and desire in its proper order.