It all began with chocolate chip cookies for a Christmas party about six years ago. They weren’t the only dessert I made but when it was over they were gone. The following Christmas I ventured into chocolate covered cherries which were also a hit but I was specifically asked to bring the chocolate chips. For a while I would ask what we could bring to a party or event and the answer was always the same – chocolate chips please.
I’ve stopped asking. I know when we get an invite to a party, the cookies are expected. It’s not an imposition; it actually makes life easy! I just keep the supplies in the pantry and when an event comes up I’m ready to go.
We had a birthday party for Little Bit earlier this year and I baked cakes and cupcakes (twice – but that’s another story) and I was done. My family was outraged! What do you mean you aren’t making chocolate chips?! Bottom Middle actually said, “Mom, you make them for everyone else’s party! You have to make them for ours! You can’t be famous for doing nothin’!!”
It was then that I realized that I have accepted the expectation. No one has negotiated with me the specifics or said outright “We expect chocolate chip cookies at every party you attend.” It has just become an unspoken expectation and I have given a nonverbal “yes” and now I am committed.
There are a lot of expectations in life – some spoken, some just there. Hubs expects the dry cleaning to be picked up on Friday as part of my errand day routine. I expect whining every time I say no to sugar bombs right before bedtime. I expect my children to clean the playroom to my standard when I ask. Are the expectations always met? No. Sometimes they don’t even ask for sugar bombs before bed! Score!!
Sometimes by receiving a gift we accept an expectation without even realizing we have done so. Wade through this one with me.
2 Peter 3:18-21
For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them.
I think (and don’t quote me – ever!) in the original Greek it says, “Ignorance is bliss.” Or maybe “plausible deniability” in some documents. I jest of course, but this is Peter’s point. It would be better to not know right from wrong and live in wrong than to know and still choose the wrong path.
But what does that have to do with expectations? When we accept our salvation, we are accepting the expectation of holy life. We won’t always meet that expectation – more often than not we will miss it entirely. Thank you Lord for your infinite grace! But that does not mean we are off the hook. We still know the expectation and should have a desire to meet it, embrace it and live it daily.
May you live up to the expectation today! And where you miss, may you find yourself wrapped in infinite grace.