expectations and limitations

Tomorrow morning I am preaching at the day camp. I am not a preacher (nor do I ever want to be a preacher), and at this moment I am totally procrastinating putting together the message for tomorrow morning. My theme for tomorrow’s message is: “I can depend on Him because He created me with a purpose.”

In my head I’m thinking, “How on earth am I supposed to convince 85 African children that their lives have a rich, meaningful purpose?” And then I wondered if perhaps it’s not just African kids who may not think their lives hold purpose - maybe it’s children, maybe it’s adults, maybe it’s just people - not just in Rwanda, Africa, but all around the world.

We have expectations. But our expectations do not define our purpose. For example, a lot of these kids expect to wake up hungry each day. They expect to drop out of school because they won’t be able to afford to continue on to college or university.

I have expectations, too. A lot of them. I expected these kids to have angelic voices. I’ve quickly realized some children here are just as tone deaf as some children in Canada. (Why did I think for some reason that every African child could harmonize beautifully? It’s a myth, I tell you!) Teaching these kids to sing is a lot harder then I expected. Their voices may not at the moment be always aesthetically pleasing to my ear, but my, oh my, are their hearts ever pleasing to Jesus.

I think our expectations can quickly become limitations. It’s hard not to have expectations in life. I had expectations coming to Rwanda - though I tried my absolute best not to - and though some expectations have not been met whatsoever, others have been taken up and away, soaring past all that I wanted Rwanda to be.

My prayer tomorrow is that these kids will begin to realize that the expectations they have placed on their life do not determine the purpose their life has. God doesn’t require expectations for us. Surely if He did, not one of us would ever be able to meet them. But He has placed a purpose on our life. And doesn’t a purpose seem so much sweeter then any expectation ever possibly could? I’m shrugging off the expectations I’ve placed on myself, and instead focusing on the sweet, sweet purpose God has placed in front of me.

Now, let’s hope these 85 children might just believe the same..