A War of Expectations

War of Expectations

I expected to be there. After walking this long journey with him, how could I not?

They expected me to be here. Commitment required it.

A war of expectations. Meet the expectations of others or the one of my heart?

A choice seemingly easy. Except for my own expectations, born of a sense of obligation and of high standards for myself.

If not here, I risk failure, letting down others in the process.

If not there, I miss the culmination of a decades-long journey, a moment that will never come again.

A war of expectations.

The expectations of others wins out. Consideration of the needs of others outweighs the yearning of my own heart.

We may be slaves to expectation but so often the expectations of our heart are not the ones we serve.

A war of expectations.

May my heart find peace one day.


(Congratulations to my brother-in-law who today was ordained as a Minister of the Word after a long and difficult journey. Wish so much I could have been there but the show must go on.)

Written in response to events that timed with the Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge – Great Expectations.



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4 thoughts on “A War of Expectations

  1. I’d suggest an “obligation” is something others expect of you (external) while a “commitment” is rather different, a pledge your integrity requires your to honour (internal). The pain hits when, as here, both events have the status of genuine commitments. But a commitment is not moral strangulation. It’s a North Star: a light to guide your direction, your choices. It can, with integrity, be deferred, renegotiated or recognised as unfulfillable (is that a word? It *is* a valid recognition). A counter-offer may be made in lieu of the initial intention.

    As far as I can see, you made a counter-offer. You offered love, acknowledgement and your proxy presence in the form of the people you love most – your boys, Colin, Wendy and Bob – and you gave the event your voice of assent, voice of ascent, in the form of a beautiful hymn clearly written from the heart, The Lord is Calling.

    And actually, The Lord is Calling perfectly expressed Ross’s commitment at this event. Not that I can speak for Ross, but it does seem to me his commitment was to formally and publicly answer God’s call. He had no “obligation” to have his sister in law present.


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