If there has been one thing that God keeps trying to instruct me (and there are more likely many more than one!), I am now slowly learning to modify expectations and never presume that my plans will (or even should) work out. Trust others to follow through on a project, and you will eventually be disappointed. Expect your family or friends to recognize what you do for them and see how that works out for you! Passionate and honest sports fans have an ironic advantage: they know that as they watch their team’s hope-filled season disintegrate due to injuries or unfulfilled potential, they will soon drift through the pain-filled weeks/months praying to be put out of their misery. On a far more important level, over my years, I have officiated at (or attended) the funeral liturgies of too many children whose lives were cut short due to illness or bad choices – expectations to be unfulfilled and dreams that end in death.
It seems to me that we humans display both our foolishness and arrogance whenever we claim to “know” what lies ahead and to base our expectations (and presumptive happiness) upon such knowledge. Didn’t we just watch forecasters truly struggle with tracking the path of Hurricane Irma, and even the model from merely 24 hours out proved to be wrong. We are not infallible. We’re not prescient. Not one of us can see beyond that horizon that would allow us to “see” tomorrow.
Faith, not in our abilities or lack thereof, not in other people and their strength of will, but in our gracious God and father, is to be the hallmark of Christian life. I cannot and will not put my faith in political philosophies or ecclesiastical systems. Let me keep my assumptions, presumptions and expectations in check because I can never know all that tomorrow will bring. But I do know that God in Christ’s death and resurrection has forgiven me. Whatever else lies ahead, while I may have hope, I ought to have few expectations.