Another enjoyable bible story re-enacted in assembly this morning. When I think about the fantastic props that were used to bring Noah's ark to life this morning in the primary school, think about the talented team of actors and youth workers God has put together perform it, and think about the hours and hours of prep I would be doing for assemblies if I didn't have these wonderful resources, I realise that my expectations of God have been woefully low. He has put things into place perfectly.
The problem is that, my expectations are based on worldly experiences. In the secular world, you can't always count on having the best people for a job, or the best resources. When you work in the secular world you're used to being told, “The hard way is the only way, just get on with it”.
When God is your boss, it's different.
When God wants something done, He doesn't have to put people under pressure to achieve it.
When God wants something done, He doesn't have to twist people's arms who don't really want to help, to join the team.
When God wants something done, He doesn't have to duplicate hours of work for everyone to have the resources they need.
When God wants something done, the details are in hand. No matter how complicated or difficult or unlikely, when it's God's plan, He's sorting it out. (Look at the detail of His planning in Matthew 21 with the donkeys!)
Here are the various results for something God is doing:
> Turns out really, really awesome because God has sorted it.
> Turns out badly because God is teaching you persistence and humility.
> Turns out badly because you stopped trusting God and tried to take it out of His hands.
I suppose that is why our expectations are low sometimes. We know that things turn out badly when we get them wrong, but we also know things can sometimes turn out badly because God is teaching us something.
But let's not forget that a proportion of the time we get to see God's plan being super, duper, fantastic and brilliant. We would see more of those times if we could just let go of things a little more. Stop trying to convert the world all by ourselves, stop trying to end poverty one Fairtrade chocolate bar at a time, stop micromanaging what God is managing.
Don't get me wrong, it is Fairtrade Fortnight. DO eat the chocolate, but don't panic that it's too little to do and that you haven't ended world poverty yet. Less expectation on yourself, more expectation on God.
After all, we can all take a tip from the person who once wisely commented to an overwrought and overworking minister (not me by the way!) - “You have to stop putting all this pressure on yourself. There is a Saviour and it's not you!”