I have heard this phrase before. It’s sort of a way of bracing yourself. It reminds you that life doesn’t play by your rules. As a matter of fact, almost no one is playing by your rules. They all have their own agendas, their own motives, and their own means of accomplishing their goals. Many times this will be in direct contrast to your goals.
Lets take, for example, your children. You want them to brush their teeth before bed. They want to stay up and play video games. Well, there is going to be conflict, either internally or externally. If you have your heart set on the expectation that your child is going to follow your direction without conflict, then you might have more internal disappointment. If you expect that this could go either way, then you will be pleasantly surprised if it goes smoothly, and expectant if they give you some push-back.
Let’s take, for example, your landlord. The hot water is suddenly turned off due to burst pipes. They want to re-pipe the entire house while you are living in it. Totally unexpected workload. Totally unexpected repercussions. Totally unexpected legal battles. Totally unexpected free time eliminated from your family. Now you are living in a hotel with 1% of your belongings to accompany you. Expect the unexpected. You and your landlord have conflicting goals. Her goal is to get the maximum amount of work out of you for free, while she improves her home. Your goal is to live peacefully in your rented house with hot water. Within this new challenge are all kinds of unexpected twists and turns to enjoy. You discover that your husband and you are a great letter-writing team. You enjoy going out to eat, since you aren’t living at home suddenly. You surprise your kids with, “We are spending the week at a hotel, and you get to go to Chili’s!”
Now, I am nowhere close to being an expert on expecting the unexpected. As a matter of fact, I am in the beginners’ class. I usually expect that people will be reasonable at some point. I usually expect that they will follow the law. I usually expect that they will be fair. I expect that because that is the place that my own mind operates from. I expect that because I want to expect that. Sometimes I do expect that someone will be unfair, unlawful, unkind, and unreasonable. More times than I would like to admit, those expectations are met. I feel cynical when I expect something negative, and then when it actually happens, I just end up feeling like I was realistic.
I didn’t expect to be in the ER on New Year’s Eve for four hours. But I just went with it. I got to discover again how much my husband loves me and will be by my side through sickness and health. I didn’t expect to spend hours in the ER, or have so much difficulty breathing, walking, and talking. When I finally got well enough to walk and talk again, my husband and I were so grateful and happy!
Expecting the unexpected doesn’t always have to be negative, though. Expect that ANYTHING is possible. Expect that God can step in and give you a rainbow and then sunny skies where rain was forecast. Expect that God can change the hearts of man if you are praying for them. Expect that events can change your life in an instant. You just never know when something wonderful or terrible will happen. We just need to embrace each part in between. With all the happens, I am trying to find the silver lining. I expect that God will help me find the silver lining or will create one out of thin air. At any rate, he is going to need to open my eyes to them, and to help me to wait patiently for them.
This week’s silver lining turned out to be staying a week in Coronado so that my husband didn’t have to commute while our rental house is being repiped. We got to eat dinner out together almost every night, and skip the dishes. I got to go to the legal assistance on the base by myself, and get familiar with the Naval Base and the Naval Air Base. I even got my nails done in patriotic sailor style. That was my silver lining. This weekend we will attempt to move back into our house, and I can’t wait to see what our next adventure is!
Copyright 2018 Marya Hayes