“My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus.”― Stephen W. Hawking
I like to preach. But I don’t like to write sermons. I know, I know, I know, a pastor is not supposed to admit such things. Unfortunately I ooze. I don’t have many secrets. What you see is what you get. And when I have to write a sermon, I wear my sermon. I wear my frustration, my wrestling. I wear the burden and the responsibility. It’s what I do. I hope it gets easier, but it’s been two years now and it hasn’t.
I am always proud of my sermons. I suspect this is a result of my emotional labor. I guess you take what you can get and try not to be too greedy. So if I like my sermons, I probably have to go through a little discomfort to get there.
It’s a good price to pay.
This week was tougher than usual where sermon writing is concerned. There’s a lot going on in the news. There’s a lot going on at home. There’s a lot in my life. So naturally when there’s a lot, you clean out your freezer. And then you move to your fifteen year old’s room. And then you go to the baseboards. And then, to the kitchen drawers. And then, to the laundry room.
Needless to say, I’ve been productive this week, just not in the ways I was supposed to be productive.
Don’t worry, the sermon’s written. It’s all gonna be fine.
But I can’t help but grieve the pressure I put on myself. A friend just told me that expectations are evil. I started to counter her, to express my exception to her definitive statement, and then I stopped mid-sentence and I concurred.
As a parent, expectations always get me in a bind. Of course I have expectations for my kids, but it’s the expectations I have for myself that are usually the biggest part of the problem.
As a woman, expectations get me in more grief than anything else – whether it has to do with my work, my family, my friends, my body. You name it, I’ve got expectations for it.
As a citizen, oh boy do I have expectations. And I have to keep those in check. For. Sure.
And this week, I had certain expectations for how this week was going to go. And it didn’t go that way. It wasn’t wrong, it was just different, and I have to learn to be okay with that.
So, you all will get a sermon on Saturday, because I will always have expectations, and you should have expectations of me. While I don’t think these expectations are evil, I do hope they are held with generosity and grace.
It’s what we all get to cling to. And I pray we hold grace for one another, because to me, that’s the best kind of community.
I love you all. Thank you for loving me, even when I have a clean freezer.