From Rev. Brock Patterson
When I was a child, my family and I used to spend the month of July at a special vacation spot in Georgia. Though we haven’t been there in many years, we still talk about it as if it just happened a few days ago. We compare our current vacation location to that original one, and though our current location may far surpass the one we knew as children, our conversation always favors the original place…You know, “The way things used to be.”
Of course, if we visited that vacation spot in Georgia today, we would discover that things are very different than we remembered. We would also notice that the changes have been made at the expense of something that was very special to us. No doubt, we would cast stones at the nameless villain who forced the changes and took away our joy. Why does it seem that things always change for the worst?
Some years ago, I returned to my college Alma Mater for a ten-year reunion with my roommate and buddies. Upon arrival, we visited our old, favorite hang-out spots and restaurants. We were shocked to discover that the food in each of the restaurants was really, really, not good. Yes, the food was cheap (which is why we went in college), but it tasted terrible. Sometime later, I realized that the food quality never changed during those ten years. Instead, I changed because I no longer needed to survive on a generic Big Mac from Archie’s (Yuck!).
Our expectations aren’t always fulfilled. One of our great challenges in Faith is that we expect God to behave in a certain manner (answer our prayers, defeat evil, remove world hunger, etc). Though our intentions are just fine, our expectations can act as handcuffs by limiting our view of God’s work. It almost seems like we are trying to force everyone and everything (including God) into a box that we can understand, which isn’t as much selfish as it is foolish. Do we really want to limit God’s work only to what we can understand and expect? I doubt it.
This summer, consider making a schedule change to include some Bible reading and prayer time. Spending more time with God allows us to understand God better, and as we understand God better, we are more likely to witness more of God’s great work…not because God is doing more, but because we know how to recognize, experience, and enjoy the blessings that God is providing.