(a simple lesson in faith, or “sniff and pee”…yeah, you read that right)
Thus says the Lord:
“The people who survived the sword
Found grace in the wilderness—
Israel, when I went to give him rest.”
The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
Jeremiah 31:2-3 (NKJV)
I had a refreshing conversation with my Gayle this morning. (I know, you’ve missed the adventures of Gayle, right? She’s well…). She confessed to me that she’s guilty of setting expectations which are, more often than not, unmet. They leave her feeling disappointed and exhausted. I told her to stop setting them.
If Gayle is the ultimate planner, über-organized and in control of everything, I am so much more of a laissez le bon temps rouler (Let the good times roll) kind of gal. With age and hopefully the acquisition of some godly wisdom, I am happily letting it go. Setting expectations? Making plans? Nope!
DISCLAIMER - I’m not a lunatic. I make plans. I am organized, but my objectives have evolved. I plan for things to go well.
I expect everyday miracles. <<Click to Tweet
I try to be aligned with God’s Will sufficient that when He moves I’m out of the way and ready to be deployed.
Here’s my simple lesson in faith.
This morning, I had no idea what I was going to make for dinner. Usually, this is cause for considerable frustration. My husband rarely expresses a preference, the children generally cannot agree, and I often end up making something that will satisfy me and no one else. Today, I choose to be easy about it all, not to stress, to chill. This lesson is a tough one, but I get why the stakes are high. I must master this task…Patience. Quiet. Stillness. Without stress or an ounce of aggravation, I bounced down the stairs to greet the day. With no expectation except that all would be well, I put the question to my children (they seldom agree and usually bicker).
In about two minutes, they agreed that we’d have Moros y Cristianos con pollo (Cuban black beans and rice with roast chicken), fried sweet plantains, sliced zaboca (avocado), and pickled cucumbers. No stress. Easy. Actually something I was both looking forward to making AND eating. Now dinner is done, and it was (and this is a deliberate chosen adjective) divine.
While this may not seem like a big deal, it’s instructive. When you only expect joy, you are seldom disappointed. It’s like the lesson I learned on Mother’s Day last year. My husband was ill. We couldn’t confirm plans with family. Nothing we really wanted to do was working out. But, in expecting good, and in seeking a peaceful and balanced place in it all, there simply was no set up for failure. I was peaceful. In facing anxiety, I was still. Thank God.
In expecting only good, I got what I anticipated. That’s about all the planning I need. <<Click to Tweet
(Gayle, are you paying attention?)
In talking to my Gayle this morning, I compared our human obsessive need to plan and anticipate with the life of my dog. I told her that when I put him on the leash in the morning and we leave the house, he does not anticipate meeting up with other dogs, which might, or might not, be friendly. He does not anticipate fair (or not so fair) weather (nor does he seem to care…I think he likes rain). He even trusts me to put on his coat if the temperature dips below 50˚F. What does he anticipate? Doing his job. What’s his job on a walk? To sniff and pee. Sniff and pee. That’s his job. And because his expectations do not extend beyond his assignment, everything else he discovers is joy. New things to smell. New places to mark.
My dog is secure in the fact that I am with him and that life is good.
That’s about all the planning he needs. He’s on to something.
The security that I am with him and that life is good. That’s about all the planning he needs. He’s on to something.
So, Gayle, you, me, now that we've survived the wilderness, let’s stop setting expectations which, more often than not, go unmet. Let’s just stop. With age and the godly wisdom that hopefully comes with it, let us happily let it all go.
Let’s find our Grace, and embrace that we have been given rest. <<Click to Tweet
That is all. Remember, we live abundant lives. Our cups are never empty, and that is how we know that God is good.
Have you had an experience lately that’s reminded you that God is good? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
Rochelle Wilson blogs at Treat Me to a Feast about her life lived forward, reviewed backward, through the lens of faith. She’s a PK (Pastor’s Kid), who’s been a Baptist church musician since she was five. Always a dancer and athlete, as an adult she turned to liturgical dance to deepen her personal worship. It worked. Rochelle laughs a lot, is married to her first love and prom date nearly 20 years ago. Together God gave them two children and a boxer who is the other love of her life, confidante, therapist, and physical trainer.