Today, we ate lunch at a deli in Plano before making the trek home. The deli had allowed a very large group to reserve several tables and 3-4 families were forced to eat outside. We ended up with the only umbrella (I requested it since I saw it earlier) and it was pretty nice, but two of the other families weren't very happy and they let it be known. From the way they were dressed and the fact that one circled up to pray, it was obvious they had just come from church, so their complaints really stood out. Mind you, it wasn't the complaints that were awkward, it was the way they were made and the tone that was used--these were people who expected to be treated better than that and they spoke with condescension.
Perhaps a complaint was in order--it was unusual to reserve so many tables for such a small deli, but that's irrelevant to my point: what expectations cause problems for us as believers? What are we allowed to expect out of life?
I remember a staff prayer time back in August where Becky asked us to pray for her dental surgery and mentioned that she didn't have any expectations on the outcome of her procedure. That really struck me and I've been rolling it around in my head ever since. As an American, I expect to be treated a certain way. As a white man, I expect to be treated a certain way. As a working man, I expect to be treated a certain way. Those expectations are the source of much disappointment and anger in my life and I'm afraid that most of them are nestled down in some kind of pride and sin. Somewhere deep down, I think I deserve to be treated a certain way and I am angered when it doesn't happen. I wonder how much of it is just sin, straight out? As a believer, what expectations should I really have? Doesn't my Bible teach me that every good and perfect gift comes form the Father? Doesn't it teach me to be content? Doesn't it teach me to rejoice in hardship?
One thing it never teaches me is to expect things from people. It never teaches me to assume that I will be treated as special or noteworthy or even worthy. I think that realization is part of what makes the light of the gospel so bright--we shouldn't have expectations on life, it's been cursed. So, when God steps into the scene and offers to adopt me, it's a big deal. Really, what would it be like to live a day without expectations (ok, you need to expect bridges to hold you and stuff, but not expect others to meet your needs or standards)?