When do we start having expectations? The earliest I can remember was in my teens, so needless to say I did not have them met.
My teen years were rough.
Curly hair was not cool, it was lame. And the whole geek-chic thing didn't really take off yet. So unless you looked like Curt Cobain, plan for a long four years of high-school.
I had to learn to be ok with me.
I loved playing sports but I never won the big one.
I loved playing drums but I never was in a band.
I loved learning new things but I never got great grades.
I believe having expectations are different than having goals.
With enough hard work you can meet your goals;
The ball is in your court.
It is dangerous to have expectations because although they may be similar to goals,
the ball is not in your court.
The frustration with expectations is not usually with us, but usually with others.
"At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.' But they all alike began to make excuses..."
"The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.'" (Luke 14 NIV)
I understand the larger point to this parable is the Kingdom of God.
I also understand that there could be a subtle principle about expectations.
Unmet expectations can make you angry.
Unmet expectations can also be a time for creativity.
The owner was obviously ticked off that the people he originally invited did not come, but I love how he responds in the midst of his frustration.
He was going to have the party no matter what.
He met his goal, in the midst of unmet expectations and excuses.
The owner got creative and invited people that many in his position would over look.
I can relate to the owner who had the banquet in this parable.
I had some big expectations for this year in youth ministry.
Things have not gone how I expected.
I have gotten angry, frustrated, and ticked off too. (It's an Italian thing)
I have learned this year that in the midst of unmet expectations to get creative and leave the results up to God. I have seen more growth in students this year than any other year I've been here.
Im not talk about numerical growth.
Im talking about real, authentic, spiritual, growth.
The past number of years in ministry my expectations were to grow something big.
This past year my goals are to grow something healthy.
On a side note...
I may have never won the big one in sports, but my Dad got to watch me play.
(I'm looking forward to that one)
I may have never been in a band, but I've been playing drums in church for over 15 years. (thats longer than most bands stay together)
I may have never been the A student, but I read more books now than I ever have before. (some of my teachers would fall off their chairs if they knew that now)
The picture above is from my '98 High School Graduation of me and my bro Jack.