Sunday, October 16, 2011

Great Expectations

 “You are the light of the world…”
Mathew 5:14
 A friend’s son just came home from his two-year missionary stint in Ghana, Africa. I saw Russ today and we chatted a bit. While he still has his wonderful smile, I could see he was dealing with the feelings one has when living in such a different place. I asked him how he was doing, but it was difficult for him to put into words. I mentioned that years ago I had an intern working with me who spent time in Thailand with the Peace Corps and Care. I told Russ that Lynn had shared her experiences and feelings with me in letters while she was overseas and when she came home.

As I was quickly outlining some of the frustrations Lynn felt, I saw a look of recognition of those same frustrations Russ was experiencing:
  • You are setting off on new horizons with great expectations.
  • Nothing is ever exactly what you imagined until you experience it.
  • You set and re-set your goals as you watch your “great expectations” shrink away.
  • You wonder how whatever it is you are doing can make a difference at all.
Now that Russ is home, he is re-experiencing his home life in a different way. Understandably, it is hard to live in a remote place then BAM⎯home again to a completely altered way of life. I told Russ it would take time and to ALLOW for the time to feel the experience and carry it forward in his life.

After talking with Russ, I got to thinking, the same four points hold true for whatever “great expectations” anyone is embarking on. But it’s okay, head for those new horizons anyway. It doesn’t have to be on mission in a far-off land. Your new horizons may be doing something you have always wanted to do, it may entail changing bad habits or creating new ones, but most importantly⎯great expectations can change your life by learning to simply be a better you. The fact you even tried will make a difference⎯even if you can’t see it for what it is until you have time to look back at the experience...

I know Russ will soon be embarking on more great expectations. Someday he may understand that his adventure in Ghana changed more than he realized. Just showing up with that amazing smile of his touched everyone he came in contact with. His is a smile you would never forget for it lights up the world. Where will your great expectations shine?
…“let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds…”
Mathew 5:16

Photo courtesy of shuttermonkey
© Copyright 2011 Michelle Clark