Barriers to a Better Life Part 2: Minimal Expectations of the Future
“High expectations are the key to everything.”
- Sam Walton
Last week we covered mental enslavement to the past as one of the barriers to realizing a BETTER life. This week we will highlight another barrier that tends to be a bit more psychologically insidious. Minimal expectations of the future can mask itself in the persona of being a “realist”. We can identify ourselves as one who analyzes the empirical data of our situation and based on hard facts we strategically move or remain in position. This may be true in some situations, but in many cases we will find that it is a fearful minimalistic expectation of what lies ahead that keeps us tethered to our past. Such faulty thinking and reasoning precludes us embracing the BETTER life that lies before us.
As we discussed last week shortly after the children of Israel were released from Egyptian bondage Pharaoh became upset and changed his mind about releasing them and sent 600 of his best chariots after them. It was a frightening situation in that to the east was the sea, to the south and west, there were mountains, and to the north was Pharaoh’s army. It was in that moment that they expressed to Moses that it would be BETTER for them to have remained in Egyptian bondage than to die in the desert. In other words, there was no expectation of the future inheritance promised to them. In their estimation, what they could ascertain in their present reality was far more actual than any promises that were waiting for them in the future. They were quite literally stuck between history and horizon.
Where ever there's a vision for forward progress, there will always be those who will protest and desire to go back because they have minimal expectations of the future. I think that’s true for every kind of institution—universities, businesses, families. There are some who just don’t see why things need to change. The past certainly wasn’t perfect but at least you knew where you stood, you knew how to relate to other people, everything was harmonious because everyone knew their place, no fuss, no muss. Why do we have to talk all the time about accommodating new and different people and situations? Our church is fine as it is. Our university is fine as it is. Our company is fine as it is. Our family is fine as it is.
If we are going to successfully move forward to the BETTER that is before us we must be willing to visualize a future that is full of endless possibilities. This does not mean that it will be easy, but wouldn’t it be worth it to fight for a BETTER future than to stay complacent with mediocrity perpetuated by lowered expectations? Israel’s wandering in the wilderness was aimed primarily to rid them of the mindset of bondage. You can’t enter into the Promised Land with a mind that is shrouded in diminished vision and expectation.
What is your expectation for the future? Are you thoughtlessly articulating resolutions with little or no expectation of them materializing in the future? I challenge you to shift your expectation. Expect great things to happen for you. When you sow a seed expect a great harvest! When you wake up in the morning expect for the day ahead to be the best day of your life! When you meet new people expect that it is God providentially aligning you with people to enhance your life for the BETTER! When you face a challenge expect that you will successfully engage it and be victorious! Expect great things!
The BETTER life is not a series of random experiences, but it is a lifestyle of great expectations walked out through hard work and empowered by the grace of God.
Expect the great today!