Expectations

Are all of your expectations met? I mean, all the time? Probably not. If your answer is “yes,” please call me? I want to interview you for next week’s blog!

Sometimes our expectations can have outcomes that are so far off base all we can do is laugh about it. That happened to me a number of years ago. I got into a conversation one day about my work as a minister with one of the staff at my gym. She lamented that she’d never been baptized. She told me she’d approached her church, but the classes they required were cost-prohibitive for her.

I asked her why she wanted to be baptized so late in life. Her answer was succinct and very sincere. It was then that I offered to perform the ceremony for her if she would like me to do so. She was ecstatic and went about planning her special day.

We set the date and she had professional invitations made up to send out to her friends and family. I received an engraved invitation to the event in the mail, which indicated it would be held at a club in the foothills. Wow, I thought, this is going to be quite the snazzy affair! I have to admit I wondered how church baptism classes could be too expensive when she was able to maintain a membership in a private club, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

I showed up at the address on the invitation. I dressed in a freshly-starched, white shirt (with French cuffs, thank you very much), tie and my best suit. I brought along my formal minister’s robe and ordination stole, as well as a crystal bowl for the baptismal water and a white rose bud to be used in the ceremony.

My mouth dropped as I drove up to the “club.” Perhaps the dirt road and the muddy parking lot should have clued me in, but I ignored those signs, along with all the motorcycles parked next to the building. I have to say that it was the first and only time I’d been to a biker bar. For those of you who know me I’m sure you’re getting a visual of the expression on my face, and you’d be quite accurate in your depiction.

Think VFW, Moose Lodge or similar, but for a Harley gang, complete with sawdust-covered, wood plank floors, beer and booze of all kinds (I couldn’t find one glass of Shiraz in the entire place and believe me I looked), and a stage that I can only imagine might double for pole dancing on the nights when a baptism wasn’t scheduled.

I’d never officiated for an event at which the entire group was well-on-their-way to a roaring hangover. The ceremony went off without a hitch until I dipped the white rose bud in the baptismal water and lifted it to the woman’s forehead. It was then that the Star Trek pinball machine in the corner of the bar decided to announce its presence to one and all … really, really loudly.

In spite of the fact that my “expectations” of the baptism were far from met, the truth is this woman had a sizable group of friends who loved and cared about her to show up for an event many of them had never before attended. Most didn’t understand her need, but they honored her with their presence and support.

Think about expectations you have for tomorrow, or perhaps a special event in your own future. What are you going to do if, after all your careful planning, things don’t turn out as you’ve outlined? Will you be totally upset, pout or throw a tantrum?cab_st

I’ve told many brides over the years that their wedding day may not go exactly as they expect, but it will still be perfect no matter what. Life is a lot like that if we just let it. Enjoy and plan for your future with great expectations and hope. And, when the time comes, go with the flow. Do not allow your “expectations” to get in the way of enjoying the moment for what it is … Star Trek pinball machines and all!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

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