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The Curse of Expectation
by Michael Daniel

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit."

Today I felt like a little child when I asked God why my dearest friend and I weren't having fun anymore. His answer was; "You stopped having fun when you started expecting things from each other."

"But God", I asked; "shouldn't we be able to expect things from the people we love the most and who love us?"

"Yes!", said God. "You can expect to be disappointed."

It seems that we expect people to be who they can't be and expect God to be who He won't be. We expect God to be human so we can manipulate Him to do whatever we want Him to. On the other hand we expect people, especially the ones we love the most, to be flawless as only God is.

So the vicious cycle never ends and day in and day out the spell of the curse of expectation is cast over and over and over. Children get bad grades, husbands forget birthdays and anniversaries, wives have headaches, parents don't understand their kids, I hate my boss and he hates me, my husband didn't do this and my wife didn't do that and our lives are one big disappointment after another because we expect the impossible.

Consider a little child. I mean a very young child, age one or under. The child is continually filled with awe and wonder because he takes nothing for granted and is completely surprised and elated when given ice cream or a balloon. The child is overjoyed because the treat was is unexpected.
Something expected cannot possibly be a surprise, but the expected that doesn't come to pass can most certainly turn into disappointment, frustration, anger, and even hatred. A hardened heart is most often the result.

Is it possible to avoid the curse of expectation? Only when we put our expectation in the One and ONLY One Who is deserving of it. Ah, then there is the eternal question; "What should we expect from God?" Well maybe we should just expect God to be the unexplainable, indefinable, uncompromising Great Mystery that He is. Maybe from God we should expect the unexpected.

So, what then can we expect from people, especially the ones we love most?
We can expect them to be the frail, fragile, feeble, faulty, frustrating human beings that they are and give them the grace to fail us as they inevitably will. Maybe from people we should expect the unexpected.

Perhaps we should love God simply because He is Who He is and love people simply because they are who they are and stop trying to change God or people. After all, only God is the Changer of hearts, souls and minds. Maybe then we can, as Jesus said; "Become as a little child." Then we will enter the Kingdom of Heaven within us right here, right now and avoid...the curse of expectation.