Thursday, October 18, 2007

Lowered Expectations

I ride the bus. A lot. Sometimes it seems like I'm on it way too much. I suppose that realization comes when I see some riders pretty much acting like the bus is their personal taxi. No one else matters.

They sit right up front where the seats are intended for people with mobility problems, or baby strollers, and have to be told to move, or just sit there while someone unsteady on their feet has to carefully work their way back to an empty seat.

Or they slouch all over 2 seats, and still have enough body left to hang out half way across the aisle. Or they sit in the aisle seat, when there is no one in the window seat, and people end up standing because they are too polite to ask the person to move over. Or they don't offer their seat to someone who needs it worse than they do.

And then there's the phone calls. Oh, those phone calls! At least you usually only hear one side of the conversation. One side is definitely enough! It's worse when it's two friends together on the bus discussing ..... Well, if you've been there, you know the kinds of things they are discussing!

And that's only on the bus!

So, I think I have a solution. Lower my expectations. Don't expect young men to act like gentlemen. Don't expect the young women to act like ladies. (Oh, I know that sounds like an old guy complaining about the kids these days, but you tell me it isn't true!) So, if I don't expect decent behavior from people, then I won't be disappointed. If I don't expect people to speak English with proper grammar, or write it with correct spelling, then it won't bug me if they miss the mark a little. If I don't expect basic body grooming, I won't complain about the smell. If I don't expect others to have standards, then it won't come as a shock if they don't.

I think there is value in this philosophy. I probably would be more willing to accept people as they are with this attitude of lowered expectations. I'd be more likely to cut them some slack when they don't live up to 'my' pre-conceived notions. If I realized that they are just fellow humans, fallen from grace, I'd be treating them the way I often want to be treated. No, I'm not quite perfect, and I know I don't live up to your expectations all of the time.

I kind of think that is what grace is all about. Cutting someone some slack. Recognizing that we are all human. Humans in need of Someone bigger than us to lift us up, to change us, to transform us. I am totally dependent on grace. So are you! So, it's appropriate that I endeavor to walk in grace toward others as much as I hope they (and God) will walk in grace toward me.

I have just started to read Gregory Boyd's Repenting of Religion. I think it will be along the same lines. The sub-title of the book is Turning from Judgment to the Love of God. Not figuring out all of the ways that you aren't perfect, but loving you outrageously. Not so much loving you anyway, but loving you because. Because God does. Outrageously.

No comments:


count web site traffic
Staples Coupon