Our happiness or lack thereof is often nothing more than a manifestation of our expectations.
The cursor blinks at me. I sift through the thoughts in my head and come up with nothing. If I let them settle, wandering thoughts float to the top but feel like chaff. And the heavy things tend to stay rooted, parts I don’t want to dig up anyway. My fingers stay poised, however, and I’m waiting.
I was introduced to Ben Hewitt through a podcast on unschooling and found his lifestyle to be intriquing. No, not intriquing…compelling. A lifestyle lived not in the pursuit of money but rather in the pursuit of meaning. Growing food, animal husbandry, children making bows from trees and with a knowledge base of herbal medicine that would shame me in five minutes flat. But my kids, my kids know Brain Pop. I just bought my dinner chicken from Azure Standard and my babies are now wearing disposable diapers (I know. But I sure got tired washing the cloth ones.) Ah, the whole comparison thing between what-I-want and what-I-lack…
On the other hand, I do use multiple sourdough starters and bake bread. I’m gathering soap supplies. My kids are learning Spanish and know how to write well. And I actually know how to butcher a hen. So it’s not like I’m not living aspects of the Real Life that I desire. It’s just that my desire, my expectation if you will, is the whole enchilada (grown from scratch from my own seeds in my own garden on my own land…).
Does anyone ever have the whole enchilada? Maybe. I don’t. I’m in the waiting time.
I’ve been studying through Jeremiah (I know. Still. It’s a long book!) It’s hard not to find it depressing. Decades of warning, and finally the promised judgement comes and death and dispersement follows. And the comfort the captives get in Babylon is this (Jer 29:5): build a home, have children, plant a garden. In a crazy land full of pagans. Not that I’m comparing.
But this is not my house, so I can’t tear down a wall
(so light a candle, sew some curtains…)
But the world is so unstable, I worry about my grandchildren
(disciple them, love them….)
But I have no barn for animals, no real means of planting
(enjoy your rest, let Me provide…)
The cursor blinks. Go on, go on, go on….
What ARE my expectations for life? And–more importantly–are they right? Are they meaningful? Most importantly: are they based on Truth? I understand that my longing or dreaming for *whatever* is born out of many things. It is hard sometimes to find the balance though between “hoping for” and “accepting what is”. Do you ever struggle with that?
Perhaps the greatest comfort I have is that I’m already living forever, and that my place for eternity will very much feel like (finally!) home. I am thankful for the glimpses I am already privy to (baby giggles, warm eggs from the nest, hummingbirds at my window).
I suppose my greatest expectation is that God will finish, somehow, the work He’s begun in me. Knowing that He’s promised to do so is better happiness than any worldly expectation I could come up with. In the waiting time, that simple and yet profound time known as “the dash” (on the tombstone), my joy is full even as my worldly hopes are not.
It’s gonna be all right.