Unrealistic Expectations, A Year-End Reflection

As I begin what will be my last blog of 2018, I am listening to Christmas music on iHeartRadio. Elvis is singing “Silver Bells.” I wish life could always be as happy and peaceful as our holiday songs proclaim. Today is Saturday, December 22, 2018. My week has reminded me that trying to be merry can be a struggle for many.

In the past seven days I have prayed for four men with drug addictions, attended a funeral of a wonderful young man who left three young children and a wife, tried to encourage a man who is attempting to make sense of life following the death of his wife, comforted an elderly woman who is living in an unsafe area and has a live-in relative with Alzheimer’s, and corresponded with a man who is caring full time for his wife who has cancer. Interesting timing – “Joy to The World” is now playing on iheartRadio.

As 2018 comes to a close, I can honestly say the year has been challenging in a number of respects. Life doesn’t come with an easy road guarantee for any of us, but is it possible that we could have some rather unrealistic expectations as to how we think life should be? Most of us, given the choice, want a relatively pain free life, but I honestly feel sorry for those who seem to have had easy lives. We learn so much through life’s storms.

None of us know what 2019 will bring to our nation, our families, or ourselves. The road may be easier than it was in 2018, or it could be painfully worse. Regardless, we should not waste what suffering has taught us. People in need of a kind word, a note, a card, or a few minutes of our time are all around us. I pray that God will help us all to see clearly the pain around us. Investing in hurting people is good medicine for our own pain.

Bing Crosby in now singing “May your days be merry and bright.”

Stan Means
Elder Source Senior Ministries
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