We are very blessed to have two airline employees in our family who regale us at big family events with stories of life in the air. I like to watch how the rest of the family “leans in” when one of them starts to talk. Last month my flight attendant daughter told a story from her first year of flying. She was enthusiastically greeting passengers as they boarded, and a man handed her a large pizza box. Usually passengers hand over their trash at the end of a flight, but she accepted it and welcomed him aboard. When everyone had boarded, she made her way to the back galley and stuffed the box into the trash bin. The flight went along as normal, and after the first drink and snack service, a flight attendant call light went off. Jamie answered it, and recognized the fellow who had handed her the pizza box.
“I’ll take my pizza now; you can just warm it up for me.” Jamie leaned closer. “Excuse me, sir?” “My pizza. The one I handed to you when I boarded. I’m ready for you to warm it up and serve it to me.” Jamie straightened back up and said, “Sir, when you handed me that box, I assumed it was trash. It’s in the bottom of the bin.” The man exploded, “THAT WAS A WHOLE PIZZA! HOW COULD YOU THROW MY PIZZA AWAY?”
Of course she felt bad that she had thrown away his dinner, but can you imagine someone thinking that was an appropriate expectation? What if all 200+ passengers handed the flight attendant an entree when they boarded and expected it to be heated and served on demand….and for the record, sir, AIRPLANES ARE NOT EQUIPPED WITH PIZZA OVENS. In fact, airplanes don’t even have ovens, per se; just small, airplane-dish-sized convection ovens designed to re-heat those little airplane-sized dishes in little airplane-sized-galleys. Think Barbie Dream House and you’re close.
Life certainly is filled with unmet, unrealistic, off-base, and downright inappropriate expectations.
Part of the blessing of officiating weddings is doing the pre-marital counseling. Using a pre-marital inventory, we discuss the subjects of Communication, Family, Children, Finances, and that mystical, elusive topic: Marriage Expectations. This delves into the couples’ pre-conceived ideas of the nuts and bolts of married life, such as who will do what around the house: who will clean, who will grocery shop, who will write bills….and it is the one category where nobody does well. Maybe if people had realistic expectations of what marriage is really like, nobody would ever get married! But it is always an interesting exploration as we uncover their unrealistic expectations and get them aligned before the wedding.
Pay attention to the word expectation in this scripture.
Psalm 62:5-6 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
5 My soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him; for my hope and expectation are from Him.
6 He only is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Defense and my Fortress, I shall not be moved.
Doesn’t this put your hopes and dreams into a different reality? Realizing that only God can bring both hope and expectation truly changes our expectations of life. The psalmist goes on to explain why he places his expectation in God: he has found God to be his Rock, his Salvation, his Defense and his Fortress. Holy Cow, what else in life could possibly meet our expectations like that?
Relationships, marriages, co-workers, children, adult children, spouses, pastors, churches, our government….all of these will surely let you down at some point and fail to meet your expectations. Better to re-evaluate and readjust your expectations, basing them in your current reality, than to suffer one more disappointment. We can embrace the fact that God our Rock will meet our expectations when we wait and silently submit to him.
We will never be let down in the arms of our Savior. You can count on it.
Photo by Michelle Robertson.