Saturday, May 23rd (From Ralph Reeder):

Great Expectations

Expectations are a part of everyone’s life.  It seems my whole life, I have been preparing for what comes next and have had only a vague sense of what to expect.  The time from high school to college, college to graduate education, then to post-graduate training and career has come and gone.  Sometimes my expectations were close to reality, but most times they weren’t even close.  For me, reality has always been better.  And now, having been blessed with an interesting and full life, having been blessed with a spouse and family beyond anything I could have hoped for, I’m surprised I still look forward with great expectations.  The difference is that the path is both more open and less clear.

I find myself on a medical mission to Tanzania in Africa.  My wife Julie has guided me to this adventure, and she is to me emblematic of what a Christian should be.  She has opened my ears to God’s whispered calling, and so, here we are.  Here, together we have new expectations and have been planning and thinking about what is to come in the next very short 10 days.   My brain has been busy with preparation, packing and acquiring what materials we can bring for the overwhelming need.  And then the flight!  Hours and hours of being able to do nothing but having this 60-year-old body survive the time-space continuum.

Providentially, our Pastor, Dr. Tom Murray in his recent newsletter, reminded me of the importance of rest.  God’s insistence on a day of rest, remembering the Sabbath, underscores His plan for how we can best live within His Grace.  I needed the lesson.  I tried to use the time during travel to rest, at least my mind, so that I can better listen to the whispers until they are a more clearly understood conversation.

The time for planning and expectations is now over.  Let’s see what reality brings.

Ralph Reeder

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