The Cure to all Heartache: Preferences versus Expectations

Williams Shakespeare once penned this inspired verse: “expectation is the root of all heartache.”

The more I experience life, the more I understand the truth behind the Bard of Avon’s words. I am learning to expect less and less of people and more and more of God. As a matter of fact, when it comes to people, I replace expectation with preference. I prefer this and that as opposed to expecting this or that.

My sagacious friend in West Texas, Homer, has been applying this discursive strategy in his interactions with, and sense making of, people for decades. He perpetually has a smile on his face. When most would take offense or be disappointed by a failed “expectation,” Homer chuckles, brushes things off, and caries on with peace in his heart.

The cure to all heartache: expect everything from/of God and nothing from/of people. There will be no more disappointment. God will always meet and exceed all expectations. And, hopefully more often than not, people will serendipitously surprise when preferences are satisfied. This way, people will never disappoint for there is nothing expected from or of them. If a preference is not met, we can chuckle and smile with peace in our hearts.

“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.” (Psalm 62:5)

“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.” (Psalm 20:7)

“Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD their God.
He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them—
He remains faithful forever.” (Psalm 146:3-6)


  • L.L.
    February 18, 2016, 5:15 am  Reply

    Excellent stuff. Deep.

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