Expectations…

The sunset view from our hike.

Expectation
noun ex·pec·ta·tion \ˌek-ˌspek-ˈtā-shən, ik-\
: a belief that something will happen or is likely to happen                                                            : a feeling or belief about how successful, good, etc., someone or something will be
(2015, January 1). Retrieved March 12, 2015, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expectation
Last weekend afforded me the opportunity to consider expectation and its ability to rob us of the NOW in a unique way…

It had been several months since I have seen my “one and only son” (just that statement should tip you off that I had front-loaded expectation into my trip). The plan was to fly into Richmond, VA and spend the evening with dear friends, get up the next morning (Saturday) and head to Washington, D.C. to watch C.J. play lacrosse, then off to a parent-athlete post-game fellowship, then a drive back to Lynchburg, VA that would include Starbucks and deep, insightful conversation…culminating with an introduction over coffee with a lovely young woman my son recently started dating. Sunday would be a great day of worship, lunch, hiking or antiquing followed by dinner at a hipster joint downtown…this time would be filled with laughter, theological conversation, etc. When I say I front-loaded my weekend with expectation I wasn’t kidding.

So I boarded my plane in Ft. Myers and somewhere between buckling my seatbelt and taking off the expectation train began to derail…you knew it was coming!

My flights to Richmond were delayed, making my meaningful time with friends sweet but bleary conversation because it was 1:30 in the morning.

I woke up Saturday ready for my 2-½ hours drive to D.C. to watch my #1 son play lacrosse. Two exits into my trip an accident closed down all four lanes of I-95. 5-½ hours later I arrived at the field to watch the teams shake hands as they concluded the game. One brave mother attempted to engage me with conversation and I had to say, “Please excuse me, I just need a minute”…that was an understatement. I wanted to scream and cry, and no one’s sympathy was going to diffuse it!

We got back in the car and headed to the “fellowship”. Normally I would have enjoyed this, but now I had already lost time and was ready for the meaningful drive back to Lynchburg. After hours of driving and sitting, I was not on my conversational “A” game. My son, after playing lacrosse and being up since the early hours of the morning could barely connect his thoughts with the words coming out of his mouth. Instead of deep and meaningful conversation, we played “don’t step on the land mine”…a.k.a. avoid talking or asking questions that seem redundant, nagging, or probing. I was now entering the un-met expectation vortex.

After winding through 100 plus miles of pitch-black mountain roads, we picked up C.J.’s new friend, a lovely girl who I struggled to communicate with due to exhaustion, both physical and emotional (she was great, by the way).

The night ended on a low note when I arrived at the hotel. As soon as I got in my car alone the tears started flowing. My expectations were dashed and self-pity took over.

The next morning, we forgot it was daylight savings time and missed the first church service. We made it to the 12:30 and were blessed by an amazing morning of worship, testimonies, and baptism celebrations.

A little lunch, a nap and an evening hike rounded out the rest of the day…again, I was struggling.

Dinner was our last time together. By then I had let go of what hadn’t been and chose to savor what I had…precious few hours to enjoy my son and appreciate God’s work in his life, to enjoy his sense of humor, and to thank God for the gift of motherhood.

It breaks my heart to consider the number of times I have sucked the joy out of life before it ever occurred, creating a scenario and determining roles for those I love most, who never asked to be cast in my “expectation play”.

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Gleaning Wisdom…

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Look forward to seeing you all tomorrow and Wednesday as we continue to glean wisdom from the book of Proverbs!

Be reminded that the Holy Scriptures, “…are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (2 Tim. 3:15, ESV)

What About the Sabbath

What about the Sabbath?

This week we looked at the wonderful truth found in Matthew 5: 17-18 that Christ did not come to abolish the Law and the Prophets but to fulfill (“fill full”) them. We established that the principles of the 10 Commandments are still in effect while Christ fulfilled the judicial and ceremonial law.

One question came up about the 4th Commandment. It reads as follows:

Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your   son, or your daughter your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Ex 20: 8-11)

The Sabbath is observed by Jews on Saturday, the 7th day of a week. The word “Sabbath” comes from the Hebrew root word “sabat” which means “to stop, to cease.” The Sabbath was established by the LORD in the Ten Commandments as a reminder that 6 days of labor by the Creator was followed by a day of rest. Of course, it was not for the purpose that God needed rest, but that He was finished with His Creative activity. God blessed that day and set it aside from the other days as holy to Him.

The Law had been augmented with burdensome requirements concerning what it meant to rest and to cease from work. Jesus confronted this issue when He was criticized for allowing His disciples to pluck grain for food on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-8; Mark2: 23-28 and Luke 6: 1-5) in which He stated two important principles regarding the Sabbath:

(1) “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27). Jesus was stating that the Sabbath was made to bless man with a day of rest and not to overburden him with strenuous regulations.

(2)   “The Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.” (Matthew 12:8, Mark 2:28; Luke 6:5) Jesus is claiming His right as Lord God to decide how the Sabbath is spent and is not a slave to the Pharisee’s regulations.

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