Things rarely happen the way you imagine. We plan and scheme, and anticipate the moment, only to be disappointed by the results.
At six years old, I dreamed of being a cowboy. My heroes were Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger, and Gene Autry. I had my cowboy boots, my spurs, my cowboy hat, my six shooters……… But I lacked one essential element……… a horse. I could pretend my bicycle was a horse, but somehow, it just wasn’t the same. I could never be a real cowboy without a horse.
One day my father told me we were going to my cousin’s house so that I could ride a real horse! They lived on a farm about an hour away. I put all of my cowboy gear on and hopped in the car. I could hardly contain my excitement! On the ride over, I day-dreamed of galloping through the fields with the horse’s mane blowing in my face.
When we arrived at the farm, I saw that my uncle had the horse (which was actually a pony) already saddled. My uncle began to give each of us a ride while he walked in front holding on to the reins. Hmmmmm………… not exacted what I had envisioned. I waited impatiently. When it was my turn I announced that I was going to ride the pony by myself. My uncle was a little surprised. “Are you sure?” he asked. I answered with great determination, “Yes, I ‘m sure.” I guess my dad must have nodded that it was alright. They set me on top of the pony and handed me the reins.
I don’t think anyone expected what happened next. I promptly slapped the reins, kicked my feet and yelled, “Hyah!”
The pony took off like a rocket with me bouncing along on top trying to hold on for dear life! Everyone else was momentarily stunned; then they all chased after me in hot pursuit. In reality, it must have only been a few seconds, but it seemed much longer. I decided I was done with this pony trick. So, I jumped off…………. right into a briar patch……….. the pony kept going……….
It’s so easy to set ourselves up for disappointment. Our expectations are way too high. The problem is we place our hope in things that are unreliable, like people. People are frail and weak and rarely perform the way we want them too. I’m a perfect example; if I haven’t disappointed you yet, it’s only because you don’t know me well enough. Give me an opportunity, and I will.
Romans 5:1-5 – New American Standard Version *
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God………. and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Misplaced hope only brings disappointment; but hope in God produces a deep fulfillment and joy, knowing that he is faithful and reliable to give us all he has promised.
The mug is raised today to the cowboys and cowgirls of the world, both young and old. Yeeha!