No matter how much turmoil might be present in our lives, there almost always is enough order for us to hold an amount of expectation for how life will unfold: we turn on the faucet and water will pour out, the arrival of dawn will begin each day with light, sugar will taste sweet, and ice will feel cold. In a way, we could say that orderliness is a natural creator of our expectations. So it’s not surprising that when changes and upheavals disrupt the order, we can find ourselves spinning and filled with doubt… and not knowing what to expect next. This is particularly true when we have come to rely on circumstances or people as central to our well-being, and suddenly there are changes beyond anything we can fix. And, indeed, should we think about how we hold expectations for friends and family? Is it possible that the order they bring to our lives – upholding our expectations – is at times a burden we unthinkingly ask them to carry? Do we place this kind of expectation on ourselves?
I’d like to share some quotes from Soul Matters that might stir your reflections:
My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus. — Stephen Hawking
Remember that you are always allowed to quit. There’s nothing real about expectations. Their strength comes only from your consent. — Rev. Scott Tayler
Act without expectation. — Lao Tsu
The September Soul Matters packets offer materials to explore the meaning of “expectation” – as we consider how we experience it in our lives and how it is a part of our experience in community. We use this theme for worship and for faith formation in our RE program and chalice circles. The Soul Matters resource packet can be accessed here. If you need a printed copy, please feel free to take one from those available in the fellowship room or ask for a copy, if they’re gone. You might also like joining a chalice circle to share your insights and hear what others are saying – you can find information about the circles here and there are flyers in the fellowship room with information about this program.
Wishing you joy in community, M. E. Tanabe