I logged in one Monday morning at work and opened up my e-mail and noticed an invite. I accepted the 10:00 am slot for our virtual team meeting. The time came and I selected the camera option on my laptop. Everyone appeared in view including my new boss, who had been employed one month.
We all liked Nick and his fresh perspective. But before he was hired, for an entire year, our prior supervisor didn’t conduct or lead regular staff meetings. For months, I spoke up and stated why our team needed to meet. “In any relationship, personal or working, a wall goes up if you don’t keep the lines of communication open.”
So I was jazzed when the new kid on the block showed up, who agreed to meet with our team regularly. A month passed and we all enjoyed seeing each other’s smiling faces whenever it was time for a staff meeting. But at the very beginning of this particular Monday morning meeting, our new boss dropped a bomb.
“This job is not what I expected it to be, so come Friday, it will be my last day.” Every remote worker on our team didn’t say a word but stared at the screen for a few seconds. Eventually, we slowly shared our regrets.
I shut my laptop. Another expectation was shattered. I was hoping this new boss would be able to implement some of his innovative ideas.
According to vocabulary.com “the word expectation comes from the Latin word expectationem, meaning “an awaiting.” If you have great expectations, you think something good will come your way, but if you keep your expectations low, you won’t risk being disappointed. An expectation is a belief about what might happen in the future, like your expectation to stay close with your best friends your whole life.”
Oh, the curse of having expectations, it hardly works out if you hold on to them. Ann Voskamp writes, “The moment you let go of your expectations, much suffering lets go of you.” (Waymaker, pg. 34) Wow! I think she’s right. Voskamp also wrote:
“Life is never made unbearable by the road itself but by the way we bear the road. It’s not the hard roads that slay us; what actually slays us is the expectation that this road isn’t what we hoped it to be.” (Waymaker, pg. 11)
What did two women, who both had the name Mary, think, as they walked the road to the tomb, hoping to see the dead body of Jesus? What were their expectations? They knew he was really dead, from witnessing the crucifixion, so they at least “expected” to see the actual body.
But it wasn’t there. Matthew fills us in, “Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come see where his body was lying.”(28: 5-6, NLT)
Fast forward to our lives, thousands of years later. Do we sincerely worship the resurrected Christ and after Easter is over, go back to the same ‘ol, same ‘ol, everyday stuff of life? Have we given up on expecting the unexpected?
Every last one of us has unmet expectations. Though they are dead and buried within our hearts, we keep digging them up in our minds from time to time, maybe when no one is around. We stare at the sky, or the ceiling. As we sit or lie there, our hands aren’t opened, they are clinched. Dane Ortlund provides hope:
“We will grow in Christ only as we recognize the ally Jesus Christ is to us, now in heaven. He did not die and rise again on our behalf back then only to stand now with arms crossed seeing how we’ll do in response. He continues to work on our behalf—he goes “to the uttermost” for us—advocating for us when no one else will, not even we ourselves.” (Deeper, page 31)
What expectations do you need to let go of in your life? How many times have I prayed, “God, please resurrect the dead areas in my life—the dead dreams, the dead relationships, and the dead circumstances.” Only when I open my hands and pray a prayer like that, am I able to move ahead and expect the unexpected.
Cross picture courtesy of Nancy Silvey. Remaining pictures courtesy of pexels.com