There are times when hearing God whisper takes me by surprise. While walking from my car to church last night, God whispered, “no expectations.”
I usually arrive early to read or have a chance to visit with people I know or perhaps meet a new guest. As always, Toni brightened my day with her God-graced attitude!
I walked around thinking about that while at the same time, trying to have no expectations. Was God asking me to let go of what I expected church to be and just experience those moments?
In previous posts, I mentioned our new pastor, Matt. Pastor Matt titled his message last night, “Open Door.”
I participated in and enjoyed the praise and worship music. I settled in my usual seat for the message and to hear God’s Word.
The first scripture reference Pastor Matt used was from Matthew 22: 35-40. I’m sure most of us are familiar with the scripture which focuses on love.
As I drove home, I talked with God about His whisper. Ever since getting up way too early this morning, we talked some more.
I would like to share what I believe God wants me to understand.
If we have pre-conceived expectations of people (people we know or don’t know), it is very likely our expectations will have an effect on how we love them. Or, on a deeper level, if we will love them at all.
I have written about a family member who, at times, was very difficult to love. After a troubling visit with him, I talked with God for three hours during my drive home about what to do. I remember the exact location where God whispered (a parking lot of a fast food restaurant), “just love him.”
“Just love him.” From that whisper forward, that is what I did. On my drives to see him, I would ask God to rid me of my expectations of my visit and to allow me to love him. From that whisper forward, I realized that was not only all I could do but it was the healthiest and most healing for both of us.
I also wrote about how my expectations of two young men walking into a drug store in front of me, influenced my opinion of them. I didn’t know them…had never seen them before and yet, in a matter of seconds, I had the expectation of them causing trouble. God had other expectations for my encounter with them!
We live in a hurting world where our expectations of people or groups of people seem to be so easily influenced. I don’t know if it is our constant barrage of media visions and sound bites…I don’t know if I am becoming less sensitive….I don’t know if our society is becoming less sensitive, but there are days when that appears to be true.
My prayer for us is to talk with God today about “no expectations.” Let us pray to meet people with an open heart and mind. Ask God to guide us to the person He wants us to meet and the work He wants us to do. As a gentle witness, listen to their journey…then listen some more. Share your walk of faith with them with a positive expectation of God’s Holy Spirit being present in that life altering moment.
“We ought to love what Christ loved on earth, and to set no store by those things which He regarded as of no account.”
– St. John Vianney