Expectations are very different in today's age. Instant gratifications, immediate changes, and quick rewards are considered normal, reasonable, and necessary. As you look at how the public evaluates leadership, these criteria are clearly applied to world leaders, business managers, and even those engaged in charitable causes. If one considers financial investments, the same criteria are applied. Even individual expectations of what will happen during leisure time or vacations is best understood through this filter.
I wonder if this is something we should accept in our lives. I do know that it was not always this way. When I read how “forty years later, in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, an angel appeared to him in the guise of flames of a burning bush,” (Acts 7.30) it is hard to imagine anyone with this kind of patience. No God conversations for decades of my life? The dominance of Silence in response to the natural need for conversation? Where is Divinity's engagement?
Even if my questioning I am falling into the trap of demanding something instant, immediate, and quick. I am missing the mantras that profoundly affect what happens today.
First, God is usually found in the ordinary, not in the exceptional. God is engaged in the mundane, usual, and detailed parts of our lives. It is in these events that we can experience mercy, see compassion, and understand how community works.
Second, the Spirit is always engaged in our lives. In the moment of seeing beauty, there is a call to truth. With life's nurture through food, light, and sleep, God's arms wrap around us.
Third, life has meaning in and when we are open to God's touch. In times of sorrow, God is here. In times of joy, God is dancing in celebration with us. In times of uncertainty, God reminds us of the real victory.
As today dawns, I find myself resetting expectations. I want to experience the touch of God. I want to see compassion in action. I want to know what it means to live in a community. God with us in life.
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