Isn't it funny how we become accustomed to expect certain things to happen? Then, like little children, we become immensely disappointed when they don't? The Bible tells us "do not worry about tomorrow for you never know what a day will bring forth." Based on the connotation of the word "worry," the first thing that comes to most of our minds is something negative. For example, "Do not get upset or expect bad things to happen tomorrow." However, it could also say, "Do not get excited about tomorrow," or , "Your plans are subject to change." It's all the same. It all means the same thing.
The catch, however, is that so often things do go as we plan. It is likely that when my alarm clock goes off in the morning, I'm going to have to get up and go to school. It is not likely that the school will have vanished over night or that there will suddenly be snow in 60 degree weather. Then, of course, my commute is almost always the same. I know when to leave so as to avoid getting into traffic. My routine and schedule at school are almost always the same (give or take a few things here and there). So, it is very hard for me to train my mind to understand that I really don't know what a day will bring. So often the things I expect to happen do happen. Yet, it is the times when things do not go according to the way that I thought they would that I understand I really can't plan on anything. Somehow, we still have to plan. Funny, isn't it?
This morning, I was thirsty and I really wanted something cold to drink. I didn't have any spare change. I also didn't have a cold drink. Normally, I would just have to deal with it. But a girl accidentally received two beverages when she purchased one from the drink machine this morning (I guess the other one was stuck) and I just happened to be standing right there when she said, "Do you want this? I didn't mean to get two." I gladly accepted, and I was quite thankful for the positive outcome. I definitely could not have expected that.
But it isn't the positive outcomes that we must grapple with. I doubt any of us are upset when things unexpectedly turn out in our favor. It is when things unexpectedly turn out the way that we don't want them to go that we get irritated, annoyed, upset, etc. When I am on my way home from work and there is an accident holding me up, I heave a sigh of frustration and think, "Really?" When I want to talk to my mother and I call her and she's not there because she's busy, I do get disappointed. That's not her fault. But we all do deal with the let down of not getting what we hoped for, don't we? There were a few times that my mother was expecting to come down and visit me. Instead, I went up there. She was disappointed. She wouldn't let it affect her, though. But it's like waiting for that wonderful, exciting thing only to find out, well, it isn't happening.
I don't know what the solution is to dealing with these things. Yet, we must simply accept them as they are and look for what we DO have to be thankful for. But our disappointment with things not turning out as we hoped they would still arises when these things happen. It really isn't any one person's fault. And who knows what you are hoping, expecting, and wishing for in your heart and mind? Nobody.
To hope for time with loved ones only to find out you'll have to spend the evening alone
To spend hours working on a meal only to have your family tell you that they don't like it
To spend hours cleaning in order to impress somebody just to have them point out a tiny spot you missed as if everything else you did doesn't matter
To work hard on a project only to have your computer crash
To pick out a car you love after looking all day only to have your spouse decide he/she doesn't like it at all
To steam clean the carpets only to have the dog eliminate on them soon after that
To do everything in your power in order to please a person just to find out you didn't do enough or you didn't do the thing he/she was quietly hoping you would
ALL of these things are cause for frustration and disappointment. The outcome is not what you expected, but even then, there is still so much to be happy about.
To be glad you have loved ones to spend time with in the first place
To be glad that you won't have to waste your time making that meal again
To be glad the rest of the place is clean anyway
To be glad you didn't have hand write it and you have the luxury of a computer to work faster
To be glad you have a spouse who is honest
To be glad you have a steam cleaner and carpeting
To be glad you did as much as you could and you know you worked hard for that person
I still struggle with focusing on the important things I should be glad about. And I will still set out to do it. After all, disappointments can simply be a way of reminding me not to take the small things for granted. Can you think of your own disappointment and thing to be glad for? If so, let me know.