"Then Jesus said to his host,
'When you give a luncheon or dinner,
do not invite your friends, your brothers
or sisters, your relatives,
or your rich neighbors;
if you do, they may invite you back
so you will be repaid.
But when you give a banquet, invite the poor,
the crippled, the lame, the blind,
and you will be blessed.
Although they cannot repay you,
you will be repaid
at the resurrection of the righteous'."
Expectations are funny little creatures. Often they look, or appear to be cute, fuzzy, cuddly, animated little pets until, on closer inspection, they reveal themselves to be a skunk, or a badger, or a crocodile. Not so cute after-all.
As I pondered the referenced scripture earlier, it occurred to me that
now & then ... sometimes ... far too often I head off in an ordained direction (worthy of a post unto itself) only to find myself, later, wondering why on God's green earth it didn't turn out as I had expected or prayed, if even it happened at all? I'm not sure I actually expected a personal reward for my unselfish, obedient service. Then again ...
"One learns to ignore criticism by
first learning to ignore applause."
~ Robert Brault
This I know: There are things that will not happen here and now, or even as I conceive they ought to be. They may come later, perhaps in a far different form than I could possibly have imagined. They may not arrive at all. I don't understand, and I don't need to understand.
It appears I'm in good company given Luke's telling. If there's anything certain about God and His ways, it's that He/they are often counter-intuitive. It's not that expectations in themselves are a bad thing, it's when I make them expectsational that they get all whompy ~ as if I know how this or that should unfold or end, or how God intends to work in any given situation. Hubris makes of them synonymous with God's own word, while humility leaves the results to Him and Him alone.
So, though I scratch my head, I totally get that expectations can have fangs and claws, or stink to high heaven (literally). Best that I ask (whatever) in faith, and leave my own little paws off both outcomes & the taking of bows (the kind that require bending, not the the sort you'd put in your hair).
What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself.
~ Abraham Lincoln