Friday, February 01, 2008

expectations

Recently I heard that age 44 is either the average or median age for adults worldwide feeling at their lowest. Of course we refer to this as "mid-life crisis." By that time there is a sense of having given up on one's dreams. And one is vulnerable then, to make huge mistakes. I've been there; done that. And remarkably I was 44 or close to it, when I had my worst down time.

Expectations. They can be good and they can be not so good. Often people can live for years with their lives built around something that is not really them. We can live to prove others wrong about ourselves. Or to impress others.

Healthy expectations come from a good self-understanding. Understanding the gift God gave us in ourselves. What we really like to do and do well. Also understanding well and accepting our limitations. This is important if we're to live well, according to God's call for us in Jesus.

Just the same, we'll ever be facing an uphill battle in this life from other's expectations of us. We need to try to meet those, when appropriate. But above all, we need to show them that we walk and live according to Another's expectation of us. That while we want to please them in its proper place, our unflinching concern, no matter what, is to please God. And that we would do this in the grace and truth and love found in Jesus.

What have you found to be true of expectations?

12 comments:

Craver Vii said...

I turn 43 in July. Should I start bracing for impact?

Funny... word verification is "maced."

Rachel Mc said...

Wow....this post hits home. Expectations can be a real challenge because you need to balance your expectations for yourself and others' expectations for you. Of course, God's expectations rule all and this is a lesson I needed to learn and I am still working on understanding God's expectations for me. Along with this knowledge comes the work I need to do to understand and remember God knows perfectly what I can and cannot do so once I figure out His expectations for me, I can find comfort and confidence in the fact that He will assist me in achieving these expectations. "healthy expectations come from a good self-understanding." This is the best piece of advice you ever gave me, and one I will take to heart.

NaNcY said...

i think your post is very thoughtful and uplifting. to look at our own expectations and where they should be. we well always have other people around us that have what they expect of us. we can be helped by placing our hope and expectations in our Lord and living by the Spirit.

expect
1393 (implied in expectant), from L. expectare "await, hope," from ex- "thoroughly" + spectare "to look," freq. of specere "to look at"

Ted M. Gossard said...

I don't know, Craver. Actually I heard of this study on ABC News, I believe it was, but didn't really read any report of it.

I guess each person has to answer that for themselves. Just a tendency.

I think for us in Jesus it's part of growth in moving towards the oak of righteousness (in prophets) God has for us. And involved in that can be a painful pruning process. Getting rid of the worthless in our lives.

Maybe it's a time to especially be on guard since it's more of a time of dramatic change in our orientation. We don't want that to come in that could waylay us from the way of Lord.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Rachel,
Thanks. And God can help us have that good self-understanding, rooted in his creation of us, and in his new creation work in remaking us, in Jesus.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, Nancy.

Yes, your point on having our expectations in the Lord is important here, surely. That it is his work and we are his work, and handiwork (or workmanship- Eph 2:10). It all must start there, in Jesus.

preacherman said...

Ted, great post great post.

I believed that rachel had a great post yesterday as well too. It too. Very powerfoo and moving too.

I wna to thank you both for too moviing great post today and yeasterday today and yesterday. God bless you both. May God of you in th God Jesus Jesus Christ.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Kinney,
Thanks. We share best from what we've learned or are learning firsthand, I guess.

Every Square Inch said...

I just turned 44 in mid Dec so this is particularly interesting. I must say that by God's grace, life is good.

However, I know exactly what you mean - I think as we approach a certain stage in life we realize that maybe some of our dreams won't be fulfilled or that aspects of our lives didn't turn out the way we hoped. I very much understand that.

In some ways it hit me much earlier when I was 37 or so, I found myself out of work (in the years of the dot com bust) and my wife facing cancer. I had to really struggle with the fact that my carefully constructed life cannot deliver the security or joy I craved. Only Christ and Him alone.

Ted M. Gossard said...

ESI,
Thanks.

Yes, only Christ and him alone. All else is good only in relation to that. And all that is in Christ, as well. This makes the difference for us in this life, to be sure.

Every Square Inch said...

Ted

I liked this topic so much that I posted yesterday on my blog referring to your post and hopefully, extending the conversation a little more.

Check it out

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, ESI, for referring to this post. And I hope everyone goes over there and reads it, for you expand well on this post, bringing out some most important things there. Excellent points there, about idols in the heart, and about dreaming new dreams after mid-life crisis.