Somewhere between optimism and pessimism is reality. Reality can look like pessimism to some but it is not. Reality tries to keep expectations, well, real. Not too high so as to be crushed by disappointment but not so low as to be considered pessimistic. That middle ground is where I firmly stand. It feels safe and safe is important. To me.
Faith, however, is not safe. Safe faith has few expectations. I know because I’ve chosen safe over more.
I’m looking ahead at the next few days where I don’t know what to expect. It feels like plunging into the deep to me as I head to a conference unknowing a soul there and not being the most outgoing person at new things. The chatter is coming from women much younger and they’re talking about sharing rooms and all the fun that will be and I am absolutely not sharing a room. I appreciate being at a time in my life where I know I need the personal space and quiet.
I’m heading out on the road alone, something I haven’t done in a few years. I expect it will be fine. But that is the limit to my expectations. Until I leave there to head to the granddaughter’s birthday party where I expect to see smiles and hear the laughter of a gaggle of little girls. There will be running and hugging and tissue paper being thrown out of gift bags one after the other. Expectations gleaned from previous birthday celebrations.
Experience can bring certain expectations but new things? New places, events, situations, bring reserve to this realist. They stifle my anticipation as I strive for inner calm and I wonder what I miss staying safe.