When I graduated from law school and got my first job as a lawyer, I was remarkably sure of myself. Although I had been a high school history teacher before going to law school, this post-law school job was my first corporate job. More than being remarkably sure of myself, I was pretty damn cocky. I remember approaching the office building that summer day, as well as the excitement of the previous period of time prior to my starting, and being quite sure that I was going to be running that company, showing them how to do things, if not right away, but quite soon after my arrival. Cocky, young, immature, inexperienced, all of those words applied to my attitude. I also clearly remember having very different feelings a few days later: uncertainty, disappointment, confusion being prevalent ones. I did remain at that company for seven years and slowly but steadily crawled up the ladder of corporate titles, but that surety of vision that I had when I started working never came back: a different understanding grew in its place.
We are provided Mark's account of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem today. He is greeted and presented into Jerusalem like an anointed king: cloaks spread on the ground as well as leafy branches and people shouting hosannas and blessings and announcing a new kingdom by an ancestor of King David. Jesus doesn't proceed to the palace to demand being seated in the ruler's seat, instead he goes to the temple. We are told it was late and he looked around at everything and then proceeded to another place to rest. Jesus has a different kingdom in mind, one vastly at odds from the expectations of those who escorted him into Jerusalem.
How do we manage our expectations? What if the way we have imagined things could or should be turn out differently? How do we accept the hard and cold truth that God's ways are not ours and that we need to be continually ready to accept a different kingdom than the one we have imagined? Can we do that?
Copyright 2009, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.