“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.” – Romans 8:18-21 (NIV)
Recently I had the opportunity to hear and meet the famous sports psychologist Dr. Bob Rotella.
After reading many of his books and finding help for my own mental health in his writings I was wondering if I should even bother going to this special event which was held at my local golf club. It really was a “once in a lifetime” opportunity but to be honest I wondered if I was setting myself up to be disappointed. What if I make the effort to go along and find just him repeating the same stories and facts that I had been reading in his books?
As is often the case with me I found myself gearing up for disappointment.
As I grow older I often find myself more disappointed with life. My expectations of where I “thought” I would be at this stage of life don’t match where I actually am. The reality of what I can accomplish in life doesn’t match up with my former expectations. Although, I have to admit that many things in my life, because of God and His abundant grace, are actually better than I expected.
It’s another election year in the USA and even though I no longer live in North America it’s interesting to see what expectations are being generated by the presidential candidates. One wonders what disappointments lie ahead – and for whom.
In the passage quoted above from Romans chapter eight, the apostle Paul reminds us that we live in a world packed full of disappointments. The reality of what we imagine “could be” or “should be” doesn’t meet our expectations. Paul says that creation, of which we are a part, is subjected to bondage to decay and frustration and is waiting to be liberated from this cycle.
Until God steps in and liberates us along with all creation, we will, unfortunately continue to be disappointed. Life, and the people who are part of it – including ourselves – will continue to fall short of expectation.
This doesn’t mean that we should take a fatalistic attitude to life and give up, but we move ahead in the grace and power of God knowing that He is the one who gives meaning to life even when our hopes seem to fade.
My evening with Dr. Bob Rotella turned out beautifully. My expectations were more than met. I was able to meet and talk with him for a few minutes before his presentation. We exchanged stories about common experiences and he told me of his opportunity to spend a day in my home town of Fort Worth, Texas with the great Ben Hogan. It was a memory I will treasure into the future.
Dr. Bob, as he is affectionately called, works with athletes of all abilities and walks of life. One of his major themes is that of expectation and disappointment. He well knows that what one expects in a competition is not always the result that one gets so process is much more critical than result. He continually reminds his clients that if they are committed to the process that they can control they won’t be as frustrated by the things they can’t control.
That’s a great lesson for all of us! I’m finding that my disappointments generally revolve around things I have little or no control of and that’s a recipe for more disappointment.
As my evening with Dr. Bob showed me, even though the world is fallen and decayed we will have experiences that do match expectation. But this isn’t guaranteed!
Ultimately for those who are followers of Jesus Christ, we are promised a glorious future that will not disappoint. Until then we live in a twisted world where disappointment will be woven into the fabric of life.
No matter what pleasures we may enjoy this side of heaven only in Jesus Christ will experience ultimately match expectation.