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What did you expect?

By Darcy L. Fargo

Darcy Fargo

March 20, 2024

“You’re teaching people to drive?”

My friend seemed incredulous.

“Yeah. At this point, I’ve helped eight people – mostly teens, but there were also a couple adults – with some or all of their driver training,” I responded. “I have more guts than brains, remember? It fits that part of my personality.”

“Your personality also makes you push a fake brake in the passenger seat and grab the car door like your life depends on it when you don’t like how someone is driving. I’ve experienced it.”

He wasn’t wrong. Somehow, I had never considered how inconsistent and incompatible it all seemed.

I was thinking about that conversation recently while enjoying silent time during my commute to work.

How could someone who hates being a passenger and reacts strongly to other people not driving to her standards thoroughly enjoy taking new drivers out to learn?

The answer zapped my brain like a lightning bolt that can only be from the Holy Spirit: Expectations.

When I’m riding with someone else, I expect him or her to be a good driver. What’s a good driver? Someone who drives exactly like me, of course. It makes me anxious and nervous when that doesn’t happen.

When I’m riding with a person who has sat behind a steering wheel only one or two times, I expect him or her to take turns faster than I’d like and to struggle centering the car in the lane.

My expectations drive my reactions.

I do it in my faith life, too. I sometimes expect God to answer my prayers the way I envision or on my timing. When that doesn’t happen, I easily fall into feeling hurt, sad or angry. I blame God, when my expectations and I are really causing the hurt and anger.

I’m trying to be more aware of my expectations and how they influence how I react to people and situations.

And I’m asking God to give me the grace to not let my expectations drive me.


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