Oh the plight to have adaptive expectations…

I sat here waiting for the weather to be right for me to fly North. The second trip adjustment in place, I was hoping to finally make it to the workshops I planned months ago. Deep sigh. Trip adjustment number three and possibly number four are now in the works, and I look forward to another potential departure. Eventually, and hopefully, soon.

It does not matter that the bag was packed, and the itinerary was set because the weather and other circumstances were not in the plan. My ability to put together an amazing workshop on communication 😊is excellent, until there is no place to have said workshop. What I am certain of is not always certain, even if it has some level of consistency in its past. Planning and preparation are all fine and good until the variables change and what was certain needs to be revisited. Sometimes, what we planned on needs to be adjusted or scrapped completely. And that can shake us to our foundation!

When training volunteers to work with youth, I began using the term ‘adjust your expectations’, especially when it came to more difficult connections. If you sit at a place where the other person can never reach, you will always miss each other, and you will always feel let down. In the youth ministry example, once the volunteer could see the need for floating expectations, they were able to more accurately create space for connection.

We adapt, then we grow.

I thought about this as I considered the annual celebration of Palm Sunday happening at the same time as my postponed trip. Adapting expectations for what is desired versus what is reality is part of our growth process as people. It also causes us to grow in what we believe. The moment of the ‘triumphal entry’ into Jerusalem, the people cheering for the King, laying down the palm leaves signifying his royalty, all relevant to what the religious expectations were for those following the scene. The expectations of the people were set on an empire change; an earthly king to remove the Roman oppression they were under.

The people who were not adapting, who were not listening carefully, cheering for something that was not coming down the road that day, missed what the Christ was bringing. A change from within, people speaking into injustice, love in places of despair, peace in the midst of political unrest, seeking harmony when all other voices cry for division. Palm Sunday stands out historically as a picture of many expecting what was not promised, and holding firm to what was not yet to be.

Expectations can be part of the excitement of life, hoping and preparing for something great. But when we lock in on what we expect to be sure and certain, and cannot adapt and learn, our expectations become false belief.

Life is filled with ‘adapted expectations’. If it is not so, then maybe we need to question our certainties.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s