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GEORGE RATH

  • Thursday, December 21, 2017

    Anytime of year we can have expectations...but especially at the end of the year.  I had an experience a few years back that put a bunch of things into perspective.
    Why do we have expectations?  It only sets us up for possible letdown or at best, agreement.  When I think about expectations, I realize that I have put expectations in other people's minds.  We all do!  When we say we will do something, or when we share how awesome something is…like a movie, a book, a relationship.  When we share the opposite…how awful a movie, a book, a relationship or something else might be, we put those expectations into somebody's thought process.  Our shared preferences do make a difference to people.

    I visited Mendocino California a few years ago. There was a great offer on Groupon for a two night stay with an ocean view room at this hotel…which I won't name.  I have never been to Mendocino and thought how awesome it would be to be on the ocean along the Mendocino coast…so I purchased the deal.  Since I bought the deal I have been “anticipating” the wonderful experience.  You can probably see where this is going.  The four and a half hour drive was beautiful at times and gridlock at other times…but I was still looking forward to the ocean view room and spending a couple of days experiencing God's beautiful creation of water and beaches, rocks and waves. 
    You might even say I had faith in the Groupon offer that it would be everything it said it would be.  

    Before I go any further I need to say I do NOT blame Groupon in any way for my experience.  It was my choice and I purchased the deal.

    When I arrived at this hotel…I was surprised that it's not even on the ocean side of the street.  It's old and not extremely well kept.  The “ocean view” from my 2nd floor deck is the fact that over the overgrown shrubs and trees and across the street…yes I can see the ocean.  It is hardly what I would call ocean view.  HOWEVER…I do have a view of the ocean in the distance from my room. 
    It has been so foggy and cool today that I can't see the ocean at all.  It is within walking distance of “downtown” if you can call it that.  When I arrived here at 6pm on a Friday night I wanted to get something to eat.  Most “downtown” shops were closed including restaurants.  Those that were open were extremely expensive.  I ended up paying almost $20 for a small pizza and a drink. 
    On a positive note I did not have any expectations about the bed in which I would be sleeping.  It was very very comfortable and I slept extremely well.

    After enjoying the morning continental breakfast, (another positive experience) I went downtown for a brief time only to find many shops don't open until noon. 
    So now here I am back in my room asking why we have expectations.  Well I think we enjoy the anticipation and look forward to a positive experience. If we were to have no expectations, we would never be let down by people, places or things.  Have you ever purchased a gadget or electronic device and anticipated how much joy it would bring you?  That has to be in our human nature.  We are also prone to disappointment by those expectations.  

    Let's bring God into this monologue.  Have you ever wondered if you disappoint God or feel like you have disappointed God?  Here is where Good News comes in.  I'm here to tell you God has NO EXPECTATIONS of you!  He doesn't.  Why?  He already knows what you will do or say.  Disappointment comes when expectations go unmet.  He loves you, adores you and wants to bless you BIG!  Since God has NO expectations of you, you don't and won't ever disappoint Him. He desires relationship with you and that pleases Him!  But be set free in knowing that you can't disappoint God.  Also be encouraged that He is right there cheering you on in your life and desires for you to come to Him with questions and dilemmas.  

    I'm not suggesting that we should never have expectations.  Trust can be built when expectations we have about someone or something are met.  I think I am saying that we must look carefully at who and what we put our expectations in.  Ask God about your expectation.  He will answer you.  This experience in Mendocino has been awesome.  Not for the beauty of the area or the ocean view room.  But for the learning and growing that God has allowed me to have in this short period of time.  For the rest of this short weekend…I have no expectations!  I like that. 
    God, I continue to look forward to the journey that You are taking us on! 

    Blessings to you my friends.

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