In my quiet time this morning a thought kept rolling around in my head, round and round like a childhood top I used to play with. “My expected life is quietly putting to death my actual life!” I’m coming to grips with personal and deep longing for things I don’t have in this season of my life. Things I have worked so hard to gain, things ashamedly I have to admit I thought were owed to me, a picture or a vision of the great goals I had for my life. My great expectation for a perfected life with minimal pain, has been quietly whittling away at the joy of my actual life.
My expected life was full of imagined celebrations with a whole and complete family, Christmases and birthdays and sweet Sunday dinners. I would sit back and appreciate the sacrifices made to ensure that three beautiful adult children would grace my table and “rise up and call me blessed.” Trailing behind them would be a glorious parade of grandchildren, the ones I had hoped for since their parents birth. They would be beautiful and bold and mighty testimonies of Gods Great Glory! I would sit back and take in all the beauty of a legacy I got to affect and I would praise God for every beautiful moment. My table would be filled with guests that stayed married, people who told truths and friends who loved deeply, “in spirit and in deed.” Our cups would spill over, feasting would fill us and our mouths would sing songs of continuous praise.
But actual life has set for me a different table with an unusual bounty, a bounty of bitter and sweet, lies and the truth, betrayal and births, divorces and death. I would have never expected a life like the one I have and although this is not the life I hoped for it is the life that was designed for me. My actual life is filled with empty seats but empty seats leave room for the grace of strangers. My life has been touched by the bitter taste of death, but the bitter taste of death brings a deep sweetness to all of my memories. The Flaws wrestled out in myself have the power to make the flaws of others seem small and unimportant. Dreams and visions of a perfect celebration have given way to imperfect parties where soul-food is much more satisfying than the intended menu. I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good at times when nothing taste good or seems good or is good.
C.S .Lewis wrote “if we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” In conclusion I suppose my expectations are good, they show that I was created for something greater. But when my expectations steal the joy from my earthy experience I lose sight of who God is, I start to think that my efforts must equal His actions and my hope is dashed. Dashed because my great expectations have placed me in His seat and I have forgotten my place at His table. My hope is for GREATER EXPECTATIONS ones that I am not in charge of, ones more divine.