I know many people who live their lives claiming to have no expectations for or from other people. They feel that if they don’t, they won’t be disappointed. Sadly, these people are the least energetic, most unhappy group I know.
I too, have often wanted to erase all expectations of people after they have severely hurt me. It’s a great attempt at self protection. I can’t believe the amount of work it takes to not have expectations. I feel dark, dead and alone when I battle to expect nothing.
It wasn’t until I read "The Shack" that everything regarding expectations became crystal clear. It’s about expectation vs. expectancy. God is talking to the main character, Mack in an awesome excerpt from the book:
"Let’s use the example of friendship and how removing the element of life from a noun can drastically alter a relationship. Mack, if you and I are friends, there is an expectancy that exists within our relationship. When we see each other or are apart, there is expectancy of being together, of laughing and talking. That expectancy has no concrete definition; it is alive and dynamic and everything that emerges from our being together is a unique gift shared by no one else. But what happens if I change that ‘expectancy’ to an ‘expectation’—spoken or unspoken? Suddenly, law has entered into our relationship. You are now expected to perform in a way that meets my expectations. Our living friendship rapidly deteriorates into a dead thing with rules and requirements. It is no longer about you and me, but about what friends are supposed to do, or the responsibilities of a good friend:
Or, noted Mack, "the responsibilities of a husband, or a father, or employee, or whatever. I get the picture. I would much rather live in expectancy."
So, the unhappy people in my life allegedly without expectation, also gave up expectancy. I don’t ever want to live in that land of nothingness. That isn’t really living at all.
Deep, dangerous, real living is delicious expectancy! The freedom in knowing that I don’t have to control every situation with my fantasies of "how every single thing should be." The chance to be fully alive, waiting on God to see what will happen, what new thing He will do.
He is doing a new thing, and that is what I wait every day for, with expectancy!