Your presence, O Lord, I seek! Psalm 27:8
Jocelyn and I took a parent-child cooking class together a couple weeks ago. Now that I’m back to work and have less time to be with her, I was so excited about the quality one-on-one time we were going to have.
We did have a wonderful time, but it wasn’t the magical mother-daughter experience I’d hoped it would be. She got distracted by the other little girls, and was more focused on how they were rolling out their pasta dough, than on her and me bonding. For my part, I was too focused on capturing it all in photos so we’d remember the night forever. I wasn’t as present as I’d hoped to be.
It was just another reminder of the trap of expectations, and recognizing what real relationship is all about.
Real relationship is about spending time together in whatever form that takes. Putting expectations on that time makes it conditional: I’ll only view this as worth it if it achieves X, Y, Z. That’s a recipe for disappointment, selfishness, and a surface relationship.
True and deep relationships accept and welcome whatever transpires, no strings attached. If one of us is cranky or hurting, the other extends grace. If one of us is riding a wave of victory, the other celebrates. If both of us show up with nothing to give, consider it the time required to knead the dough of the relationship so it can rise.
The same should be said about the time we spend with God. Too often we’re looking for a mountain-top experience with Him, and call it a waste of time when our soul isn’t lifted to new heights. When we’re silent before Him and don’t hear Him speak, we think we’re not good at this prayer thing, or He just isn’t there.
He knows that a real relationship is built over the long haul. So He does show up, every single time, no strings attached. And unlike us, when the end result doesn’t produce fruit, He knows the seeds have been planted, and He’s excited to watch them grow.
Questions for Reflection:
* Do I put expectations on the time I spend with people?
* Do I put expectations on the time I spend with God?