If RyanAir had a Frequent Flyer programme, I’d have Platinum membership. I wonder what the benefits would be? Perhaps an extra kilogram of luggage allowance, or a free pair of RyanAirboks, so that in the past you could run (albeit unpopularly) to grab the best seat.

On one of my flights, I was struck by the review of the weekend in Benidorm that the two ladies next to me discussed. “Well” said one to the other “At least we didn’t get robbed!”

Well, THAT’s good then” I thought, “What an excellent time you must have had, sampling the delights of the Costa Blanca in constant expectation of mugging. What a pleasurable weekend that must have been, dancing around the handbags – security cameras installed in both high heels!”

T’would be wrong (disclaimer) to minimise the trauma of personal theft, perhaps these two had experienced it previously, but nonetheless, the holiday expectation threshold seemed to be set particularly low, even for Benidorm!

In the Rugby World Cup, hopes were high after we beat New Zealand, but it wasn’t to be when we were Boered in the final, but at least ‘expectation’ was exceeded “well, at least we got to the final , pretty good”.

Perhaps, on balance, us ‘glass half empty’ Brits have got it right, maybe it’s better to hope, not expect.

The thing about expectation is that for most people, high expectations can motivate you to succeed, but you and those around you could easily become dissatisfied if it didn’t quite work? Life becomes a series of ever increasing goals – a rat race – and you might lose the ability to share in the joy of others. The materialistic machine feeds on and perpetuates unhappiness by constantly raising the standards. Every year there are new models, fashions, etc.

So, consider choosing a life of hope, not expectation. With hope comes the possibility of joy and surprise, and life will be more enjoyable for you and those around you. You’ll still be disappointed when things don’t go the way you want, but perhaps it won’t demolish you?

A couple of quotes:-
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” Martin Luther King

“I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.” Dalai Lama

I rather like the Dalai Lama’s quote, all too often we/I ‘judge’ the universe, that was good, bad, time well spent, waste of resources, right/wrong. But rather than judging, maybe I need to ‘see’ a bit more than I do at first sight, then perhaps I’ll sense the reality of God in the ordinary, in the actual, in the daily, in the now.

I don’t really know exactly what our expectations are at El Palmeral. But we have been so very grateful for everything so far. It seems that as folk take time out to ‘just be’, something seems to happen in the daily, in the now. Hope springs eternal, however difficult your circumstances.

So, may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 15:13