It was several years ago at a Soul Care gathering in the Philippines, and we were sharing our reflections on a particular text of scripture. I shared how I simply expected the worst in every situation. For a long time, I thought of this as a good trait since it alerted me to possible “dangers” ahead.
While this may be good in some ways, it also provides for much internal strife and tension. Those who deal with the behavioral sciences may have a fancy name for this, but it certainly feels like being on a leash. Every decision was made with lots of inhibitions. I never felt the freedom necessary to expect the best.
I’ve always wanted to share about this struggle with my readers, but I thought no one else might be experiencing such things. But recently I read a post by Seth Godin “The opposite of anxiety.” He said: “I define non-clinical anxiety as, ‘experiencing failure in advance.’ If you’re busy enacting a future that hasn’t happened yet, and amplifying the worst possible outcomes, it’s no wonder it’s difficult to ship that work.” When I read that I said “That’s it. That’s exactly what I’ve done all along. I jeopardized the possibility of doing my best due to my expectation of the worst.
Jesus said “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:12-14 ESV) These words of Jesus exhibit a confidence far beyond what we can fathom. He is not expecting the worst, but the best.
So go ahead. Expect the best. Jesus did. That’s what you were meant to do.
How do you see the future? What do you expect to find there? Share your thoughts in the comments.