Great Expectations

May be an image of nature, tree and grass

I’ve watched bits of the Olympic Games over the past few days… familiar and unfamiliar sports… skateboarding, surfing, equestrian dressage… It’s amazing how quickly I can become an expert!

Yesterday I watched British girls getting bronze medals. The taekwondo girl was expecting to win gold; to her the bronze was a disappointment. The gymnastic girls were delighted to get the team bronze; to them it was a significant achievement.

It depends on your expectations.

We had the contractors in at church – painters, carpenters, carpet-layers, electricians… Each brought particular skills to the particular job they had to do. We knew exactly what we expected from them.

I filled the bird feeders last night. They’ve been well used this morning. The local bird population know exactly what to expect.

It’s been a time of wedding anniversaries. In recent weeks Julian and Kerry celebrated their Silver, Terry and Christine their Golden, and last weekend Nigel and Ann their Ruby Wedding Anniversaries.

Whatever their expectations on their wedding days all those years ago (if they can remember!) they couldn’t possibly have ‘expected’ the situations that they find themselves in today.

Subsequent to their weddings they did expect – and have – children, but their expectations for their children? They couldn’t possibly have predicted how their lives would have worked out.

I started reading Isaiah this morning – the first of the books named after a prophet.

A prophet wasn’t some ancient horoscope writer, predicting the future. He (usually ‘he’ in those days) was God’s representative speaking God’s messages on God’s behalf.

The expectation of the prophet (and God!) was that he would hear God’s voice and speak it out to the people his God sent him to. The expectation of those who listened and believed was that the prophet would speak God’s words.

…I’m musing on my expectations of this God… his ability to communicate with me, my ability to listen, and what he might say to me…

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