I’ve gone to summer camp almost every year since 1994. I missed one year in 2002 but, for many of those years, I doubled up on both high school and junior high camp. And now, 18 years after that first camp experience, I’m back at it again.
This week our church’s high school group is in San Diego on the campus of Point Loma Nazarene University for Hume SD. Summer camp is one of my favorite weeks out of the year. In spite of all the preparation, the lack of sleep and rooming with high school boys instead of Alycia, I look forward to it every year.
I was telling our guys last night that, in all my years of going to camp, I’ve learned that our expectations shape the week.
If we expect to be bored and sit in the cabin, then we’ll be bored and sit in the cabin.
If we expect to make new friends and build deeper relationships, then we’ll make new friends and build deeper relationships.
If we expect to stay up late every night eating candy, then we’ll make stay up late every night eating candy. (Even if my students have that expectation they won’t see it fulfilled).
Our expectations even affect how well God can speak to us.
I told our guys that if they expect God to work and move in their lives this week then they’ll probably see him doing some work. Raising our expectations makes us more likely to see the subtle ways God is working in our lives. Raising our expectations also makes us more likely to act in a way that would allow God to work in our lives.
Even the disciples were waiting with expectation on the Holy Spirit. Jesus had told them to stay put and so they stayed put. They prayed and gathered together, expecting that God would show up. They were looking for God and creating paths for God to reach into their lives. They were expecting God to do something and when he showed up, their experience far exceeded their expectations.
I want my experience of God to exceed my expectations. But in order for our expectations to be exceeded, we have to have to expectations in the first place. So whether we’re at camp, at home or at work, we need to carry the expectation that God will do something.
God is willing to work in our lives maybe we just need to expect it to happen.
How do you raise your expectations for God to work in your life?