As I've been pondering, it has occurred to me that I have all to often fallen victim to what I will call The Curse of the Birthday (and Other Big Holidays). What is it? Expectation.
It is such a killer. Believe me, I know. I have been the road kill far to often to be able to deny it. When it comes down to it, expectation, whether on a particular day, or toward a particular person, or in a particular situation, is almost always going to end in disappointment. The whole basis of expectation is faulty, so there is no way I can ever expect to build something on top of it, and it stand.
Almost always, expectation is self-focused. It does not spring from love, but from a desire to get what I want. It is the ultimate all-about-me game, and if it is not met, then it usually results in another all-about-me activity, self pity. And self pity is a dangerous thing indeed. It breeds dissatisfaction, and dissatisfaction can mutate into a whole host of ugly things.
Expectation can cripple a marriage, frustrate a parent, and ruin a friendship. It can do so much damage, yet it is so preventable! In so many areas I have learned this the hard way. I have failed at this again, and again, and again. But God is the God who forgives us again, and again, and again. That is something I can expect. I can also expect His help to erase those expectations when I ask Him. And that's really what it comes down to. Asking. Expecting God to help us to find our contentment in Him and not in our expectations of others.
It is in Him, and only Him, that we find our Freedom.