We arrived at our destination last night – months after beginning to plan for a week away in celebration of our wedding anniversary. Driving into the parking lot after dark, my husband asked the question we were both contemplating silently – does any of this look familiar to you? Hmmm… Not so much. Maybe? It’s dark – I’m sure we’ll recognize things in the morning.
It was, after all, 23 years and some odd months ago that we spent our honeymoon here, off of the beaten path at the top of the Rocky Mountains. Lots of life has taken the place of sweet memories – we ought not be surprised at the fuzziness. At the blurring of the lines.
Something memorable in place and time has been etched into selective memories where only certain details remain intact, woven together by a feeling here, a scent or image there, and a related situation or conversation or after-the-fact experience tacked on for good measure.
My husband and I had great expectations that the place we remember and the milestone it marked would be waiting for us in Colorado when we stepped from the rental car into the crisp autumn air.
How easy it is to set ourselves up for disappointment when our expectations take on a life of their own!
We walked into our vacation rental to find that it didn’t look a thing like our honeymoon memory.
- Dated carpet, mirrored wall tiles (circa 1980’s) and a whirlpool bath with jets that don’t work.
- The quaint little town we wandered around for hours in 1988 took all of 20 minutes to ‘explore’ today, since more than half of the shops were closed.
- It was too cold to paddle-boat.
- And the little one-room movie theater has long since closed its doors.
It’s dangerous to entertain great expectations which, when unmet, could very well sabotage something beautiful and… new.
New in the way that we can sit beside one another in silence and somehow still be on exactly the same page.
New in that we really don’t need to be entertained in order to find each other entertaining.
New because, unlike 23 years ago, we don’t have to work at or worry about whether we are (engaging) (exciting) (interesting) (important) enough for each other. We know who we are. We know where we stand. And we know that the future (and the past) does not hinge on how closely this new experience we’re having measures up to something we’ve already done.
Our great expectations will not be our undoing because we are content to let today unfold and stand alone, against the backdrop of our life and of our love.
Lamentations 3:25 says that “the Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” This word ‘wait’ is the Hebrew word ‘qavah’ which means: to wait for, look for, expect, hope. Found at least 50 times in the Scriptures, qavah expresses the idea of waiting hopefully, as did the prophet Jeremiah, who had hope in God’s salvation and was willing to wait for it.
When our expectations are marked by the projection of our impatient and selfish desires onto people or circumstances, we stand to be disappointed with the results again and again. Yet, when we choose to have Great (qavah-esque) Expectations, we look to the Author of our reality and the Perfector of our faith for that which is not only worth having and doing, but worth waiting for as well.
May we choose a posture of hopeful expectation in the days and weeks to come – not for our own plans to be put into motion, but for God’s best to be revealed to those who are more than willing to wait for it. When we do, we can’t help but notice just how right Lamentations 3:25 was…
And how GOOD God IS!