Summary: We expect things in life. God expects things of us, too.
Louie Anderson 7-Eleven monologue
So let me ask you today, “Whaddaya want?” What do you want out of life? Are you looking for a good deal? Do you want a good job with even better pay? Do you want your children to make the honor roll and get into the “best” college? Do you want a fancy car? Do you want peace on earth and good will toward men? Do you want your brother to quit drinking or your best friend to quit smoking?
One Sunday morning a stranger entered a small country church right at the beginning of the sermon. The man was dirty and clearly smelled of alcohol. The usher attempted to seat him in some back corner but instead this guy walked up to the front pew and sat directly in front of the preacher. Then to the congregation’s horror the man began to make loud comments to the pastor’s sermon. “Amen. That’s right! Preach it brother.” The minister gave the man a nasty look, but it was to no avail. The stranger just continued, “Hallelujah, Testify!” Finally the usher approached the man and whispered in his ear, “Sir, we don’t act like this in church.” “But I’ve just got religion,” said the stranger. “Yes sir,” said the usher, “but you didn’t get it from here.”
When you walked into church today what were you expecting? Hymns, a sermon, scripture reading, communion, a time for fellowship. We all come to church on Sunday morning with expectations of what we’ll encounter when we get here.
We all have EXPECTATIONS, what we want out of life. We expect to receive a paycheck for working. We expect our children to behave, to clean up their room, and to learn the difference between right and wrong. We expect to be treated fairly and with dignity and respect. We expect people to turn right when they have their right turn signal on. We all have these EXPECTATIONS in life.
Jason was thrilled. Tomorrow would be his first day working as the national sales manager for Covenant Communications, a start-up software development company. The job seemed like a perfect fit. He loved computers and best of all, the owners of Covenant Comm. were Christians, and Jason was excited that he would be working for a “Christian” company.
But at the end of his first month his paycheck turned out to be only half of what he had been promised. The second month, he got pretty nervous when the auto leasing company called to find out where his payment was. Jason was sure Covenant’s owners had said they would pay all his car expenses. He felt better after he talked with the owners about the apparent mix-ups and they assured him everything would be straightened out the next month.
But by the sixth month-and after many more broken promises-Jason decided Covenant’s owners couldn’t be trusted, and he quit what he had thought would be his dream job. Hearing Christian music piped through the company sound system and listening to the owners’ talk about how important their church was to them just didn’t make up for missed paychecks and harassing phone calls from the car-leasing agency. We all have expectations in life.
Most parents love their children and expect certain things of them. They pray, work, and do all they can to influence them in certain directions. They have high hopes, big dreams, and lofty expectations.
Wendy and I have certain expectations of Cody. As all parents do, we want our children to grow up learning respect, manners, good self-esteem, love for others, and how to do their own laundry. One thing we try to instill in Cody is that we not so much concerned that he “be the best” but that he “do his best”.
Maybe your expectations of your children are different. Maybe you expect your child to follow you into the “family business”. Maybe you want your children to enter a certain college. Maybe you want your children, after they move out and start their own family, to remain close to home. Or maybe not.
I think my biggest expectation for Cody is for him to have a deep and lasting relationship with God—one that will see him through any crisis here on earth and give him absolute assurance concerning the future.
ILLUS. Headhunter – what’s your goal in life?
Expectations, we all have them. But in the midst of all our looking for what we expect, what we anticipate, what we want, how many of us have ever taken the time to ask what God expects from us? I believe that God is the greatest visionary of all. There are certain hopes, dreams and plans the He has in mind for each one of us.
An interesting cartoon shows a fourth-grade boy standing toe-to-toe and nose-to-nose with his teacher. Behind them stares a blackboard covered with math problems the boy hasn’t finished. With rare perception the boy says, "I’m not an underachiever, you’re an overexpecter!"