Saturday, February 20, 2010

Expectations

Another one from the Drafts folder, originally written April 3, 2009. It's still true.

May all your expectations be frustrated.
May all your plans be thwarted.
May all your desires be withered into nothingness.
That you may experience the powerlessness and the poverty of a child and sing and dance in the love of God the Father, the Son and the Spirit.

I was looking for the text of this prayer and actually stumbled upon the original source--this post published by the Anchoress in 2006. I read it back when she first published it, and it struck me. Perhaps five or six months later I remember being in the throes of terrible disappointment and repeating to myself, May all my expectations be frustrated, may all my expectations be frustrated, may all my expectations...

That one line (the only one I remembered) became a sort of mantra in the ensuing months. Whenever anything happened that sent me into the depths of despair, I would just repeat it over and over, as if it were the password that would make everything make sense.

Well, I still have to repeat it to myself from time to time, but I am also starting to get a glimmer of sense.

When I pray for my expectations to be frustrated, I generally mean it as a way of accepting something I don't like. My expectations being frustrated means in this situation that I'm resigning myself to some kind of suffering.

But that isn't always true. If you'd asked me three years ago what kind of guy I saw myself dating eventually, the first words out of my mouth would have been, "No geeks." Now I'm dating a geek, and I am so, so happy that God didn't give me what I asked for. The Cobbler is someone I never could have imagined or wished for, but he is perfect.

Sometimes God frustrates my expectations because what He wants for me is so much better than what I want for myself.

No comments: