Her Long Brown Hair (or The Greatest Expectation)

800px-MeatloafWithSauce

She had long, brown hair.

I know she had long, brown hair.

And, when I go out to eat at American-style restaurants, I like to order meatloaf.

Meatloaf rocks.  And I am very particular about my meatloaf.  With one exception, it has to be topped with ketchup.  Not brown gravy.

Never brown gravy.

If a politician wants my vote, he or she will promise, if elected, to ban slathering meatloaf with brown gravy.  (And, here comes the one exception I mentioned earlier: Clive’s Roadhouse serves up a mean meatloaf with onion straws, mashed potatoes and brown gravy that will make the hardest construction worker well up with tears of gratitude after one bite.)

Here’s something else that never belongs on meatloaf.

Hair.

This is how I know the chef had long brown hair.  I took a bite of what had previously been delicious meatloaf, only to end up extracting from my mouth a roughly 8-inch long brown hair which had somehow broke free from it’s follicle and landed in my lunch.

I had expected ground beef, mixed with egg, onions and bread crumbs and baked to juicy perfection.

I had expected wonderfully carmelized ketchup baked on top.

I had not expected to need to almost eat a hair nearly as long as my forearm.

Nor had I expected the confirmation that my gag reflex worked just fine.

We sometimes build up amazing – unrealistic – expectations about life.  We were taught at an early age that, here in America, we could grow up to be anything we wanted to be.  Even president!

But, the truth is, we can be anything God wants us to be.  As the Lord promised His children:

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11, ESV).

We have dreams.  Make plans.  Set goals.  Sometimes they turn out.  Sometimes they don’t.  And, when our plans blow up in our faces, it can be very discouraging to say the least.

But, as Christians, our agenda isn’t supposed to be our agenda.  It’s God’s.

We should be pursuing His will.  Seeking His guidance.  Trusting in His grace and mercy.  Sharing His love.

Am I saying we shouldn’t dream or plan or set goals?  Absolutely not!  By all means we should plan and work to achieve.  What we shouldn’t do is get so wound up in our own schemes and desires that they become what we desire over God Himself.

Jesus should be our first, overarching goal in life.

As Christ pointed out, He is our only sure expectation:

“In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 (ESV)

To quote 18th century poet Alexander Pope, “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”  Granted, that sounds a tad depressing.  But not when we realize GOD is our hope.

Our only hope.

It isn’t that we’ve lost hope and now God is our last resort.  He’s the only true hope we’ve ever had!

So, here’s my challenge to all of you.  Do a quick heart check.  Are you more concerned with success or seeking the Lord?  Where is your treasure?  Is it in your bank account?  Your personal goals?  Achievements? Or is your heart set on following Jesus?

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV)

It’s no accident that, immediately after this passage, Jesus begins teaching us not to worry.  To trust God with all our needs.  To not toil for that which has no eternal value.

Expect God.  Seek Him.  Wait patiently on Him.  Let the LORD be your expectation.

Of course, you shouldn’t have to expect a long hair (brown or otherwise) in your meatloaf.  But maybe – just maybe – I need to ease up on the brown gravy issue.

(c) 2019 by Chris Courtney.  All rights reserved.

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