Impossible Expectations


my story continued…

Unusual. I think that is the word that would best describe my day. Webster defines it as “not habitually or commonly occurring or done.” As the kids and I began our journey back to home, I thought I was well-prepared. I thought I had taken care of everything. Snacks. Drinks. Computer Games. DVD’s. Check…it was done.

About halfway, I received the typical response, “Mom, are we there yet? Because I have to go potty.” Although I had packed plenty of entertainment, I definitely had to make a pit stop for this one. We pulled into a nearby Buc’ees, the grand-daddy of all pit stops in case you’ve never been. We made a beeline for the bathroom. The place was jam-packed. It took me by surprise.

Upon exiting the restroom, I noticed people were flat-out stealing from the store. Left and Right. Taking things from the shelves and strolling right on out the door, paying no mind to the cashier. My kids noticed as well. I’ll be honest, IT SCARED ME. To behold such flagrant lawlessness right before my eyes and to feel entirely helpless. The store was in disarray. The shelves were nearly empty and littered was scattered abroad. The store looked like it had been raided by a bunch of bandits.

1 John 3:4, “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.”

Realizing I had $300 in my wallet, I was ready to hike it on out of there. I whisked my kids back into the car and possibly left skid-marks as I drove away. “Was that for real? Why would people ever behave in such a way?” Having time to myself, I shook my head in disbelief. The situation seemed surreal. Maybe driving back to Houston was not a good idea. Maybe it was too soon. Doubts began floating in.

What was I getting myself into?

I remained pensive for the remainder of the ride. The roads were busy, yet tolerable. Yet again, time for just God and I. As I approached the city, I noticed things were relatively quiet. Some downed trees and electric lines. Compared to the typical hectic living, it seemed like I had arrived into sleepy town.

There was a sense of relief when I pulled into our driveway. Even if everything wasn’t just right, it felt good to be home. However, I quickly realized the momentous expectations I had placed in merely a building. The weight must have been excruciating. Timothy Keller in his book, The Prodigal God, says, “The memory of home seems so powerfully evoked by certain sights, sounds and even smells. But they can only arouse a desire they can’t fulfill. Many of the people in my church have shared with me how disappointing Christmas and Thanksgiving are to them. They prepare for holidays hoping that, finally, this year, the gathering of the family at that important place will deliver the experience of warmth, joy, comfort, and love that they want from it. But these events almost always fail, crushed under the weight of our impossible expectations.” (104)

Once again, I had placed my expectations on something other than God.

Can you relate? Have you ever placed impossible expectations on something other than God? You can leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you!