At lunch today, we were talking about Elle's birthday which is coming up in April. I asked her what she would like to do. It took her about two seconds to respond with, "I would like for us all to go to Mexico." I'm not sure where that came from or why that is something that she would like to do, but it is obviously something she thinks would be fun. I think it would be fun too, but I know that we will not be going to Mexico for her 6th birthday!
This conversation got me thinking about how often the things we really would like to do, our dreams, often bump into reality. I had to break the news to Elle that we would not be going Mexico for her birthday, but that we could have a Mexican party instead. When I said the word pinata, her eyes got big! Her dream might not happen but there are other options that are doable. The reality is that we cannot go to Mexico. So often, we get stuck or obsess about a dream that isn't happening the way we want it too. We pout, we complain, and we agonize over our discontent with how things are turning out in our lives. We think that everything about life should be as we want it....now. I'm not completely sure why we feel this sense of entitlement, but it really can mess you up.
I read something awhile ago about the people that are most content in the whole world. They are Danish, not the pastry, just to clarify. The Danes have learned a secret about contentment. It's to expect nothing. Their contentment is based on the premise that if you expect nothing, anything good that comes along is bonus. If you expect nothing, you won't be disappointed. I'm not saying that this is the way to live; without expectations. But I think it may have some merit with a few tweaks. I think it may come down to what kind of expectations you have. This may seem harsh but here's what I think...expect to fail. Expect that life will be difficult. Expect that you will feel pain. Expect that life will not look like a fairy tale Disney flick. Expect that life will not always go as you plan it. Expect that in the middle of all of life's messes there is HOPE. I have been learning that hope comes in the form of God. In the middle of the mess, I am not alone, He's there. I have been expecting to meet Him in the messes that life brings. It's where He wants to meet me. I cannot promise that all your dreams will come true, it's not a reality in any one's life that I know of. It's in the mess where we learn truths about ourselves and about God. I say bring on the mess!