I recently read this quote by G.K. Chesterton:
“There are no words to express the abyss between isolation and having one ally. It may be conceded to the mathematician that four is twice two. But two is not twice one; two is two thousand times one.”
This was never more true to me than last night when I got to spend time with one of my closest friends who, even in the midst of an awkward conversation, I am completely safe with.
I am overwhelmingly thankful.
Three posts in one day after a month without posts. What can I say?
As we wrap up the Christmas season I feel the need to comment on the tragedy that I have witnessed on the houses around me. You see, I love Christmas lights. I love the multi-colored ones, although white is okay too. The problem with Christmas lights is that unless they are done the right way, they look tacky, even the white ones. You know it, I know it, let’s just talk about it. There are three main issues I wish to discuss to make the Christmas light experience better for everyone next year.
1. Light Nets– While a very effective way to cover the whole bush evenly, it is important to remember that next year your bushes will be bigger (they grow over the year) and you will need a bigger light net to cover it. You see, the point of a light net is to cover the whole bush, not to throw over a portion of it. They are especially not to be used to make a Christmas tree shape on the side of your very large bushes/trees. Just remember: even coverage over the entire bush.
2. String Lights– One string is not enough to cover a large tree. If you can see the circles the string is making around the bush, you have not used enough lights. There should also never be a single strand running from one bush/tree to the other. New bush/tree= new string of lights (shame on the Georgia World Congress Center).
3. Icicle Lights – Real icicles are clear, yours should be too.
Over the break I read a book called The Shack which I highly recommend. Although the whole book was great, there was this one part that talked about the difference between expectancy and expectations and it really got me thinking.
Even though I know that it’s not my works that save me, I guess deep down I have always thought of God as having expectations for me, and that I inevitably always fail him. If I don’t do my quiet time every morning and pray before I leave the house I am in some way letting him down. With that thought in my head I have always felt that I disappoint God. In fact, if he does have those expectations for me, I disappoint him on a daily basis. Sometimes multiple times throughout the day. But in reading this book I realized something. There is nowhere that I have been able to find that lists the expectations that God has for us as far as a relationship with him goes.
There is an expectancy. After all, I am in a relationship with him so he does eagerly await time with me, but he doesn’t expect it. With that mindset, there is in fact no way for me to disappoint him by not doing what I thought was required for a relationship with God. This has been a very freeing realization for me! I have found since thinking this over and talking with God about it that I enjoy my relationship so much more with him. I pray differently. I read my Bible differently. Hopefully, I will begin to live my life differently.
I think this applies to our human relationships too. When we look at our relationships with an expectancy instead of a list of expectations, our life can be so much richer and free. I think we all have a tendency to put certain expectations on people. We feel left out if our friends don’t call us or we feel unloved. We have built up expectations in our minds of what people are supposed to do in a relationship and we have lost the freedom of actually being in relationship. But what if we looked at it from a different perspective? What if we waited in expectancy for more connection to those we love? Try this thought: “I know they love me and so I will see them/talk to them again.” It seems so much more freeing to me and in the end will not disappoint. Expectations rob us of our freedom to really love and enjoy each other the way Christ loves and enjoys us.
I know I should have a great closing for this, but that is a pretty high expectation!