Things don’t always go as expected, as was the case for many last year. Now everyone is wondering what this year will bring. Our expectations for the future – the next year or even the next hour – and what is behind those expectations are of no small importance. They can determine whether we are anxious or at peace as we look forward.
But like the biblical Psalmist who said, as the Darby version puts it, “Upon God alone, O my soul, rest peacefully; for my expectation is from him” (Psalms 62:5), we can find a quiet peace when we turn to God to define and solidify our expectations. This paves the way for freedom and progress regardless of what things look like at a given moment.
Turning to God, Spirit, as the source from which infinite good flows out is a reliable spiritual basis for looking ahead with an expectancy of good. Man, the generic term for God’s spiritual creation that includes each of us, always receives wholeheartedly all that God gives. This spiritual reality gives us the courage to welcome God’s promise of good, and to look forward with greater hope free from dread or trepidation.
This spiritual basis can be immensely helpful in clarifying whether our expectations are rooted in God’s permanent, inexhaustible good, or in things that can vacillate. And I have found in my study of Christian Science over the years that maintaining spiritually focused expectations sometimes brings a much-needed and different result than anticipated.
This proved to be true some 30 years ago when what I thought was a solid friendship went awry for no apparent reason. My friend very unexpectedly decided she wanted a break from our friendship. I was shocked to say the least, because our relationship had felt so supportive to me.
I brooded over this, thinking she at least owed me an explanation. As the months went on without hearing from her, it became clear to me that I had counted on this friendship as a determinant of my overall happiness. Now what was going to happen?
As natural as it is to have loving and giving relationships, expecting another person to be our ultimate source of love and happiness is actually pretty limiting. So I prayed, as I had done so many times over the years in unsettling circumstances. I prayed for a greater understanding that both my friend and I were tributary to God, divine Love, who imparts joy to everyone. Because we are children of God and under God’s care, it is God that relates us to one another – sweetly and harmoniously. God’s care is something we can expect to always be there, even as human relationships change.
These ideas brought more peace and brightened my outlook. I felt certain that God would guide me. Then, one day when I was in a church where the congregation was saying the Lord’s Prayer together, I was struck by the line, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy gives this spiritual interpretation of that line: “And Love is reflected in love” (p. 17).
I had this clarity that divine Love never owes something, is never trying to fill a void or a lack, because it is ever present. God is constantly giving blessings, as the endless source of love for everyone. As divine Love’s spiritual likeness, both my friend and I were receiving this fullness of good every moment, with no vacuums or dark spaces. I felt the power of this truth cleansing me right then of any hurt and emptiness.
Shortly after this, my friend and I had occasion to connect again in a very natural way. Her explanation of what she’d been going through and her apology touched my heart. Our relationship did change in terms of time spent together, but it retained respect and affection.
Trusting Love in each moment to guide our motives, desires, and steps in a progressive way will shape and safeguard tomorrow. It enables us to expect the full spectrum of good that supplies what we need each day.
Some more great ideas! To hear a podcast discussion about God as the source of all movement, please click through to the latest edition of Sentinel Watch on www.JSH-Online.com titled “Omniaction: God’s unlabored motion includes you.” There is no paywall for this podcast.