The next couple weeks involve a LOT of running around, events, appointments, trips, decisions. I am gearing up for all this by not only doing a lot of shopping, event planning, stocking of the fridge, and making lists, but also by mentally preparing myself for good times, for celebrating and rejoicing. Just planning the graduation party for my son, alone, is a big feat of strategizing, facing parking challenges, selecting menu choices and preparing myself to run around serving food but at the same time run around with a big smile on my face. I can get so task-oriented that I forget why I am doing the task: that I am celebrating a milestone in my son's life and in our family's life as well. I can forget to enjoy the moment.
Whenever I get ready for an event, I am hopeful. I want to be hopeful. And I should be. But there's always that tinge of "But what if something goes wrong?". And for mothers, there's always that quick-to-action instinct that we have where we are ready to jump in at a moment's notice to fix anything that goes awry. We're ready to do damage control. We are hawk-eyed, on the look out for the least bit of unhappiness in someone, ready to turn that frown into a smile- as if we were a magician. We are often dealing with disappointed people, temporarily forgetting that we have our own disappointments as well.
But lately I have been thinking about this whole concept of disappointment. I have had a number of disappointments in my life- big ones and small ones. Everyone has had disappointments. But not everyone is aware of how these former disappointments have become the bedrock of their perspective. We often take one disappointment, add it to another one we've had, and we begin to have this inner attitude of "See? It never works out when you hope for more". We can develop a negative perspective of things, but tell ourselves that we are just being careful, guarded.
That's why I love how God challenges the Israelites in Isaiah 54. Israel complains of being forsaken, of being disappointed, and God tells them to, instead, prepare for hope, prepare for expansion. He speaks to the barren Israel and tells her to let go of the disappointment. "Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame..."(Is. 54:4a).
I love how, in the CEV version, it says it loud and clear: "You won't be disappointed". A lot of our disappointments come from missed appointments- times when we thought God would move and we took action...and fell flat on our face. Then there were times when God moved radically and quickly in our life and we stepped back into our comfort zone and refused to take the key, the open door He offered, because it led to the unknown, to the New, to the rough terrain of unexplored promised land. Everyone wants the promised land, but not everyone realizes that God often says, "You develop it". When He challenges us to receive something good that involves our rigorous stewardship we often answer with that age old excuse, "I can't".
Why is "I can't" an excuse rather than a plain admission of our capability? Because anything God calls us to, or leads us through, we can, most assuredly, do. We can prevail. We can enjoy the challenge. We can overcome. We can make it.
And that expectation of a good adventure with God is the beginning of us already connecting with hope and faith. Now we're on track. We've had our appointment with God's perspective and we see a bit more clearly, now. We see possibilities. We see God's hand ready to move on our behalf. We know, now, that we will not be disappointed.
So here I go into the day, a long list in hand, a flurry of activity ahead of me. I expect that it may be a challenging day, a very busy week. But I also expect there to be amazing moments where I "see" God nodding His head in approval as I open my mouth and laugh and rejoice in the midst of it all.