Sunday, June 26, 2011

Not So Great Expectations

     Do you ever wonder why we have expectations?  Saturday my daughter competed in a horse show.  Of course, she was extremely excited the night before.  I’m sure she had visions of standing alongside her horse at the end of the day with ribbons hanging from Belle’s halter and a heart swelling with pride for her well-behaved, cooperative horse.  She did bring home some ribbons, but the horse didn’t exactly reach her part of the bargain, as far as expectations went. 
     I’ve been trying, as of late to find my joy.  Find my joy even when it’s hiding under piles of stress, fear, worry and doubt.  It hides under deadlines, in my busy schedule, in the mess.  It hides like my inaudible voice asking yet again for that same request.  I accidently leave it at home when I’m out in the traffic or a crowded place, reacting to inconsiderate strangers.  My joy is always hiding from me, just when I think I’ve captured it for good.  I tell myself during a peaceful study about joy that I can do it.  I can hang onto my joy the next time it tries to hide.  Then it gets away.  It hid on Saturday morning.
     We were running behind, and had expectations, things we wanted to do before the show started.  The event was held by the American Junior Paint Horse Association and was an amateur show for any breed.  They called it Paint for a Day, and the contestants literally had to paint their horse to enter.  She had big plans for painting Belle.  She wanted to fix her mane and tail and we were running late.  By the time the show was starting we had only managed to slap some paint on, no hairdo and no smiles were left.  The paint job she expected to do didn’t work out, disappointment number one.  However, within the next 30 minutes, she was standing with her horse’s halter in one hand and her second place ribbon in the other.  At least one expectation was met.

     As the day went on we had to endure Belle’s off-day.  She was so uptight and obviously distressed over not being at home.  She doesn’t travel much and has a tendency to act this way when things are different.  She still needs more training and it really shows in situations like these.  I could blame it on the heat, or Belle, or my daughter’s bad attitude, or anything, and I found I was.  My joy had once again hidden and I knew it.  At that moment I didn’t feel sad about it being gone, I didn’t care.  I remember thinking about it and feeling rebellious in that moment.  I didn’t care if I was acting joyful or feeling joyful.  It was what I wanted to be, but did I really?  No, I was miserable.  I could have stopped and looked at the blessings around me.  Right there in that moment.  Looking back I do feel sad.  That show, which we expected to be a fun and exciting day, was a day of complaining and groaning.
     I have to learn not to react to the storm around me.  When the winds are swirling around my head, and the lightning is crashing to my right and to my left, I have to trust.  When I feel I’m drowning in the pouring rain and I feel over my head in the floods of life, I have to trust and rest in his arms.  I have to listen for his voice over all of the distractions and be still and know that he is God.  When the expectations of life get crushed by the storms of reality, I have to see that God is in the real, not the supposed.  When life is happening all around me, I should be able to hear him saying in his calm and sure way, “Peace, be still.”  And I should trust.


debbiehighfill said...

THAT was great! Thanks for writing that. I really needed to hear that.
I too, lose or hide my joy a LOT