the economics of disappointment.

I’m not a guy that you would describe as “good at sports”. I have two left feet, i get overwhelmed and confused a lot, and although i found that i am a very strong defensive player, that still doesn’t put me in the greatest players ever category. But I really enjoy sports. I like teams, i like competition, i like yelling, and most of the time I can keep my spirits high enough to enjoy all games, but it has been interesting watching my countenance on the field of floor hockey the last few weeks.

It is almost like I am addicted to disappointment, which feeds on itself and tires me out. Because as a player I can put on bursts that put me in the right place at the right time a lot. But when i get there I usually can’t do the thing i want to do. And because I understand that is a usual for me I keep playing, because thats what happens. But there are moments where my expectations of myself are heightened and when I fail I have begun putting more effort into feeling disappointed than my usual shaking it off, putting on a burst, and getting back to where I should be. This hit its crescendo recently when I failed and yelled my frustration and then threw my stick. Instantly, I felt embarrassed. How could a game get to me so much that I lashed out violently on a stick? As if showing my disappointment to those around me, excused my skill shortage and heightened my toughness in their eyes.

But in reality it is just immaturity. An unbridled show of an inappropriate reaction to my own limits. Which is weird in hindsight because most of the time I am very good at living within my limits to avoid feeling and looking weak.  But similar to holding bitterness as a badge of honour in my early twenties, is this yet another brokenness revealing itself? A brokenness that makes no sense as i have never put any effort into sports, so any expectations that i would be good at them are ridiculous.

But why do we put so much effort into disappointment? Some are so disappointed that their childhood dreams stand unrealised, that they never even attempt finding them another way.

And it is here that we could easily turn to discuss why this is the reason we shouldn’t have expectations. We shouldn’t get excited about anything. We shouldn’t dream because then you don’t get disappointed by anything. But, maybe our expectations need to be different, and our reaction to disappointment needs to be tempered by the comfort of our God’s complete adoption of us. Which would look weird on a hockey field.

“Oh man i wish i had made that shot go into the goal instead of falling over on my face…. but I am God’s child so I will get up and run after the ball”

But, in the rest of our lives why not? Why not speak to ourselves of the realities of heaven. Yes we may not have gotten that job, yes we may have a weird sickness or our car just blew up. Or maybe we just got off stage after playing the biggest show of our bands life and we got booed. There is more for us. And there is deep comfort in the arms of a man who died so that we would be universally victorious.

One thought on “the economics of disappointment.

  1. Disappointment and expectation are funny things. Good post Jeremy; spot on the mark. It’s something that God is working through with me lately too – how do we have expectations, yet not cling to them in such a way that we get disappointed and bitter when it doesn’t work out for us? Because, whether it’s hockey or jobs or how we think this year will pan out, as humans we will still have expectations. A basic picture of what we hope for. And when reality doesn’t match up, how do we not lose hope? Time and again, reality and our expectations don’t come into line. Sometimes they do, but often they don’t. I guess it’s got to do with resilience and having our hope based upon the only solid thing; that is, our Lord. And over time, as we mature, we learn to see things from His perspective and our expectations change too, I suppose. At least I hope so ha, because surely with maturity our ability to deal with disappointment will improve?!

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