Another rest buster for us recovering procrastinators can be the frustration that comes from unmet expectations. We so firmly believe something will or should happen that it throws us for a loop and stresses our coping skills when it doesn’t.
We tend to put off facing reality and rock along in the mire of frustration, continuing to resent the circumstances or people who hinder what we expect. Strain means drain. Being agitated over a long period of time saps our strength and sours our disposition.
We get frustrated – “upset or annoyed especially because of inability to change or achieve something.”
We can recognize we don’t have control over the whole situation. Our “expectation” might need to be a “desire.” It can’t be a “goal” because we don’t control the factors that make it happen. (Goals and Desires March 2, 2015)
A dear pastor friend shared that at the end of a long day, he would look forward to rest at home. As he drove home, he anticipated relaxing in his chair with the paper or a good book. Ahhh‚Ä¶.
Then – Whammo! Four children clamoring for Dad’s attention and his wife with her concerns. Though he loved and enjoyed his family, he began to resent the fact that he couldn’t come home and relax. He decided to change his expectations. Driving home, he’d remind himself, “I have about 45 more minutes of ‚Äòwork day’ when I get home. After time with the family, I’ll relax.” Changing his expectation transformed his attitude from resentment to enjoyment. After attention from Dad, the family was better able to respect his need for rest.
Like this pastor, we can take a fresh look at our expectations and reality, asking God for His perspective. Please see Encouraging Expectations November 16, 2015 for thoughts on realistic, God-centered expectations.
Sometimes we need to express what we’re hoping for. Family, roommates, colleagues, committee members don’t know what we have in mind unless we tell them. Then, is it appropriate to make demands? Give instructions? Place a request?
One night after an event, I sensed my husband’s irritation. What’s up? “I thought we’d be leaving there sooner tonight.” We could have. I didn’t know. He’s learning to share his thoughts ahead of time and I’m learning to ask in advance. Less strain, less drain.
Giving our expectations a reality check, letting God transform our perspective, and communicating our thoughts can bring rest in many situations.
What expectations could be stealing your rest?