DISARMING MY EXPECTATIONS

Blog by Sr. Pat Connick, OP

So, yesterday after supper, I thought about what I planned to do tomorrow…more study for my sabbatical, maybe a few house chores, some exercise, even a nap and then attend a couple necessary meetings at night, over Zoom, of course.  Then, came the interruptions to my plans . . .

  • Before I went to bed, the first “interruption” was a request to speak at the first evening meeting for just three minutes, but I knew it would require careful planning and even a session of revision with someone else to get the message just right. By the time I wrote the script, edited it with my friend, practiced it, and then delivered the “three-minute wonder,” four hours slipped by!
  • Then at prayer this morning, came the second “interruption,” which was a request to go to the grocery store to get some items for baking. If I were to do anything I really wanted to do or planned to do for myself today, I could have responded by saying “No Way!” or, at least, “Sorry, I can’t.” But, I paused and realized that these responses would have been because I was putting myself first and missing an opportunity to be charitable.  So, I went and about two more hours in, my day was completely different then I imagined it would be and my time for the day was now completely transformed.
  • I discovered the third “interruption” when I checked my email late this morning, and realized I was to write this blog for today. WHOOPS!  Somehow, that slipped my mind, and I worried a bit about that and then said to myself “Keep calm and carry on!”

I still struggle with these opportunities to be more spontaneous in my day.  Yet, I’ve discovered that when I am open to changing my plans and going with the flow, I am surprised, even amused, by what I learn and how much better my day is.

  • At the first meeting, my community will get to hear about the great love and time commitment some of my sisters and I put into preparing our congregational study for this year. INSPIRING!
  • Our visiting sister was able to bake three lovely mango pies for my sisters at home and in another convent not far away. YUMMY!
  • in the end, I discovered that I spent the day in an experience of unexpected calling and was able to write this blog, which brought me great JOY.

The main difficulty I experienced with these “interruptions” was overcoming my expectation of how I wanted the day to unfold.  I wanted the day to be predictable and for my planned activities to happen on my timeline.  What I learned is that I need to remind myself throughout the day to be available to others. It wasn’t easy, but I knew it was a good decision to “change the plan.” Because life is unpredictable and we are often faced with daily opportunities that invite us to make changes, we need to ask ourselves what God is asking of us. We can dialogue with God about how “our plans” can be more loving and more generous, perhaps even more meaningful.

So…whatever expectations you have for your life, I encourage you to hold onto them more lightly!  You might be surprised by what happens, and you will most likely be delighted by what transpires in the end. As good as your expectations and plans for the day might be, God can show you how to make your life even better!

Maybe God is inviting you to consider changes to whatever plans you have for your life. Perhaps God is nudging you to explore the call to become a religious sister. You may find that religious life exceeds your expectations!  Begin the journey.  Contact us to learn more about how we can be of help with your discernment.

Posted in God Calling?, News, Vocations Blog

7 responses to “DISARMING MY EXPECTATIONS

  1. People plan and God laughs, my sister always says. And it’s true that we should not hang on to those plans too tightly, and see what fun is around the corner. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that it’s not all about what we want, but, as you said, what would be most charitable. Thank you!

  2. Thank you so much for this reflection. Most recently, I am finding that I am being called to “sit quietly in God’s presence” and wait patiently for Him to tell me the “next right thing” to do. Or which expectation to let go of. Thanks again, for this gentle reminder.

  3. Thank you very much Sister for sharing, as you have said, sometimes we want something for our life but God wants something else for us. This has happened to me several times. God knows our need and He will give us the best.

  4. Thanks, Pat. Sounds familiar. The unexpected can sometimes be more valuable than what previously planned.
    Sometimes I find it difficult to discern what’s called for at any particular time. Good to know ‘m not alone.

  5. Thanks, Sr. Pat, for a good reminder that sometimes God calls us to interrupt our plans for the sake of helping someone else achieve their plans. Blessings and Peace to all who hear and respond to the call to be present for the sake of others.

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