The Weight of Expectations…

I have been struggling lately.  It seems that sometimes in life, things begin to pile up and up and up until the mountain they create obscures the light.  I am at the point where I am recognizing that things are beginning to pile up, and I kind of feel helpless to stop them.  I feel that I should have the ability or skill handle everything that comes my way, and the gradual realization that I don’t frustrates me.  I feel powerless, inadequate, inferior.  I expect more from myself, and I feel that others do as well…and that is where it all starts.

Expectations come in many forms and from many sources.  They are promises made and agreements shook on.  They are hopes and dreams.  They are the best laid plans…  No matter how you look at it, expectations are future based.  They involve someone’s interpretation of what the future should hold and how that future should take place, and most of these expectations come from ourselves.  Combine those expectations with the ones others have for us and you can begin to see how a mole-hill might become a mountain.  With each expectation comes some weight, and before you know it, a person can feel buried in an avalanche of stress and anxiety.

I hate feeling like this.  I hate this feeling of weight on my shoulders.  And it is about the time that I really begin to battle that I remember a poem my Grandma Stone shared with me.  “If” by Rudyard Kipling is a letter of sorts written to a son offering advice and encouragement.  I often reflect on this poem and its many pearls of wisdom, but every time I begin to lament the weight of expectations, I remember a particular line from the poem.  “If all men count with you, but none too much..”  What does it mean to have “men count with you?”  According to Kipling that is an honor.  But what does “too much” look like?  I am struggling with the expectations of my boss and co-workers, my friends, my family,  and people I don’t even know.  I often feel like “if I don’t do it, who will?”  Is that “too much?”

About the time I get all worked up about this, something usually slaps me in the face.  Luke 7:20  “When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’”  I feel like such a tool when I look at this verse.  Even before Jesus has ever really started his ministry, people are already showering Him with expectations.  They question not only what He is doing, but who He is.  They are expecting a savior, but at the same time are doubting whether or not Jesus is the Savior.  Not only does Jesus have to deal with the expectations of the people, but He is fully aware of why His father sent Him.  He knows His Dad has a pretty big plan.  I mean would you want to be the one to screw up God’s plan for Salvation?  Seriously…

Gethsemane (Matthew 26 NIV)
36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” 40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” 43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

It gives me comfort to know that my savior was so human that he felt the pressure of his expectations.  It helps me through some of these trying times to have an example in Jesus to look to for guidance and empathy.  It also humbles me to look at the pressures I feel and expectations I face and compare them to those Jesus had to deal with.  It makes me thankful that I can count on Jesus, even if sometimes I count on Him too much.

How are you dealing with your expectations?  How are you handling the weight?  Are you counting on Jesus to help you with that load?  If you are like me, you know He is there and willing to help.  I just need to learn to let Him take some of that weight.  And I pray that you can learn that too.

May “all men count with you,” and may you learn to share that burden with the One who has carried the heaviest of weights.

One Love
One God
One Way

Jason

 

 

 

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~ by archangel66 on August 5, 2011.

2 Responses to “The Weight of Expectations…”

  1. AWESOME post…when we surrender the expectations we begin to accept ourselves and others just as they are…and we love them in that place. In that lies freedom. God is in charge of the “fixing”….He just asks me to love. Thank you for sharing from the heart!

    • Thank you. I appreciate your feedback and comments. It is nice to have the fellowship of people I don’t even know.

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