disappointment Breeds…


“Blessed is the man who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed” – Alexander Pope


Working at a church I often say that I see the best and the worst of humanity.  Lately, and not just at work, but in so many aspects of my life, I see the worst and I’m continually disappointed in people.  I’d like to think that Alexander Pope is right, because if we didn’t expect anything from anyone or from God, we’d never be disappointed.  But it just begs the question: how do we get to a point where we expect nothing?  I honestly don’t think its possible, we always expect something, even if we only expect to be let down.


Perhaps this wouldn’t be so bad if we were only disappointed.  However, I’m finding that my disappointment breeds other things, it breeds hopelessness, anger, frustration…the list goes on.  I don’t want to hope in people, I find it difficult to believe people when they say one thing and constantly do the opposite.  (I promise this whole blog isn’t as depressing as its starting to sound…read on!)  I’m angry at people for not being the human beings they were created to be – we were all created for greatness (see my last blog), but we keep failing.  I’m frustrated at people for all of the same reasons.  My disappointment breeds and grows.  


The beautiful thing is (I told you this would get less depressing) that my disappointment leaves me hungry.  Hunger is beautiful?  Yes, it is.  My disappointment leaves me hungering for something, anything that won’t disappointment, that won’t make me angry or frustrated.  My disappointment with people leaves me hungry for my God who never disappoints.  Though I may not always agree with His plan for my life, He never disappoints me.  When He says that He wants to be friends with me, He means it.  When He says that He loves me, that He is in love with me, He means it.  When He says that He forgives me, He means it – He doesn’t hold it over my head, He doesn’t forgive me conditionally, He forgives and loves me unconditionally.  


I find my hope in God, He gives me strength and reminds me that these people are only reflections of Himself – He is where my hope should be, He is where my heart should be.  People will continue to disappoint me, but that doesn’t mean that I can withdraw from them.  We need each other, but we need God more so that our disappointment doesn’t continue to breed and grow like a nasty fungus on our souls.  


The readings from this past Sunday (the Second Sunday of Lent, Cycle/Year A) fit so perfectly with what I’ve been experiencing and feeling lately:
“Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you” – Psalm 33:22.  We place our trust in God, not in people.  Again, the psalmist tells us, “Better to take refuge in the Lord than to put one’s trust in mortals” – Psalm 118:8.  We trust in Him because He never fails us.  He never disappoints.
The Gospel reading from Sunday also speaks to our need for God, that we would listen to Him and not be afraid – our hope is in the Lord.  “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.  When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid.  But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.”  And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone.” – Matthew 17:5-8.


Let us rise above our disappointments that we would hear His voice and see no one but Jesus, especially in the faces of those who disappoint us the most.


“To err is human, to forgive is divine” – Alexander Pope

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