Friday, April 4, 2008

Brian’s Reflection: Saturday, April 5, 2008

High expectations are the key to everything.

- Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, who died
on this day, 1992, age 74

I wonder if Sam and God were chums in some other Age of the Universe???

I tend to have low expectations – except of myself, where I am dualist - “expecting perfection” from myself but knowing that I don’t really want that because I isn’t fun, and having to deal with the fact that I often don’t do my best because I’m rejecting the perfectionism, and dealing with the constant clash between the two. God, how complex Life can be!

But I really have low expectations of others – is this cynicism, or pompousness, or what? But I do. I have spent 40 years in ministry, 35 as a priest, 27 as a parish priest. As I look back after a week in “retirement” from full-time parish ministry, I realize with a shock that I have very often not called people to their best as a a person and as a member of the Body of Christ. I’m amazed at myself. How come I didn’t learn this in parish ministry?? I now see why I so hated Vestry meetings. Because I wasn’t focused on lovingly challenging peoples’ (including my own) personal and often manipulative (conscious or unconscious) agendas and calling them to a vision of the Kingdom and of a community of Faith as followers of Jesus. I had low expectations because I had lost the vision of renewal and of transformation in the Spirit.

See. I wasn’t perfect!

God has High Expectations. Of all of us. She knows all that She put into Humanity. This is why She keeps on, generation after generation, to hold to the expectation that one day we really will get the message of Compassion and Caring and Acceptance and Supporting each other, drawing the best out of every one of us.

I think High Expectations, laced with a healthy understanding of human frailty, will be my next approach re. the World, myself, and the church!


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