I had everything planned perfectly. Most of the three hour drive home from seeing my dad was behind me. I would swing by the house, drop off my bags, freshen up, pick up Jim and we would be off to Springfield for Smith’s one year birthday party. That sounded simple enough. I rounded one of the near hairpin curves on Highway 65 in the pouring rain to find traffic on the two lane road not moving.

Having stopped right beside a volunteer fireman directing traffic, I rolled down my window about 2 inches to ask what was going on. “A girl miscalculated the curve and rolled her Jeep. She’s on the way to the hospital in the ambulance so it shouldn’t be too much longer now,” he explained.

Forty minutes later traffic started moving. That was not in my plans. Maybe I wouldn’t unload the car and hopefully I looked fresh enough for a kids birthday party because my time was really short now.

I stuck a motivational CD in the dash to distract my frustration. Oddly enough, the speaker was explaining the importance of expectations. “Do you expect to reach your goals? Do you expect good things?” she asked.

That’s when I started talking back, “Yes I do! But where does that get me. I was expecting to get home, relax for a minute, then take off again. That’s not going to happen.”

I hit the off button. I know the gap between expectations and reality is where stress sits, so how much should I expect without getting frustrated? I thought about it the rest of the way home.

I remembered the sticky note I have on my desk that says: Hope … a great expectation of what is to come. Hope is a good thing. It keeps us moving forward when things get tough. I had hoped and expected things to go the way I had them planned, but once again I was reminded I’m only one fragment in the big picture. Taking care of the girl in the accident clearly was more important than me running a curling iron through my hair.

Just like the curvy road we don’t know what’s coming next. An attitude of positive expectancy is an exercise in hope and faith. To adjust to unplanned circumstances with minimal frustration is something else. However, both are are choice.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
-Hebrews 11:1

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