Expectation+Reality=Disappointment

Don’t you love it when a sermon speaks to your situation, or alternatively, hate it because you’re in that situation? We had been going through a series called Under Pressure. Work has been putting everyone under pressure, not just me. The last part of the series, When I Am Disappointed, hit me right between the eyes.

Under Pressure

When something is under pressure, it has to vent or explode. People aren’t any different. The harm is in how they do it. With me, it comes in complaints, like casual mentions in conversations, or griping at work.

Two people mentioned that maybe someone needs the overtime for money, or I might need it and don’t see it.
I replied, “Maybe.”

Later I thought to myself that I have only three options: quit, see if I can step down to my old position, or change my attitude. 

Then the notice we were working on another Saturday went up on the board. I asked when will it end, with no clear answer, first of March, all year (Lord help us), or the 11th. There has to be a ray of hope when everyone is getting burned out.

I was having to make more and more people come in or face discipline. That’s not good for morale.

It led to a few hard conversations, and in one, I could’ve been speaking to myself. I identified with the other in so many areas, and along the same lines of thought for the most part.

The Conversation

I was pulled aside to talk about Saturday’s mandatory overtime.
‘It’s not fair, I’m stuck dealing with other people’s messes, those up front aren’t here dealing with it, I’m a temporary not full time, how come he gets to take a write up and I would get fired,’ and so on.
I looked at him, and listened and went back and forth as gracefully as I could. I agreed mandatory isn’t fair, it’s a reality we have to deal with or find other jobs, other people in specialties are mandatoried, and so on. Until he kept pushing and I said if he didn’t show up he’d be “no time”.
“Are you threatening me!”
“No. Just telling you a probability.”
“It sounds like a threat.”
I told him that I’m mandatoried every Saturday I work. If I didn’t show up, I can be fired just like that.
What if I come in on Saturday, and not come back until Tuesday.
He kept pushing it until I looked him in the eye and said flat and projecting, eyes flashing, “NO”.

I felt like he did, but reality doesn’t care how you feel. Only what is. A lesson I have to learn, I was in a sense talking to myself.

Expectation and Reality

The issue has largely been the gap between expectation and reality. They’re not matching up, so I’m becoming disappointed and disillusioned. I lose perspective and want to quit.

Pastor Rod said trust God (Psalm 31:14-15). Which the one friend who said I may need the money was right. A car wreck, towing fees, and repairs used up all the extra overtime money. It had been needed and I didn’t even know it.

Still, ask God for help (Psalm 31:15-16). Pour out your frustration to Him (Psalm 31:17-18) and not Facebook. Remember what God’s done in the past, and get your hopes up (Psalm 31:19-24).

I’ll admit it’s still a struggle for me. To sum it up, though, hope in the Lord, trust in His plans, and not my own. Which is wise considering my lack of foreknowledge…

3 thoughts on “Expectation+Reality=Disappointment

  1. My struggle with comparing expectations vs. reality is what to do next? Do I need to adjust my expectations down a notch (or 10) so i’m not disappointed? Do I keep my expectations where they are and push into God to manage my feelings in light of the Gap? Maybe we just need to seek God and allow HIM to set our expectations in the first place … hmmm. I need some time with my Journal and Jesus.

What are your thoughts about this?

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