Getting Ahead: ‘Great Expectations’

By John G. Pfeifer - Religion Columnist

Every year high school graduation time comes. The students that have completed their required studies are rewarded with a high school diploma. Most of the graduates will go on to institutions of higher learning and major in an area that will help them secure a job to provide for their future families.

I recall the excitement that I experienced while graduating from high school and preparing for college. My whole life seemed to be ahead of me and it was looking good.

The problem was that expecting things to be as I dreamed them did not make it so. Expectation is necessary but it is only the beginning. The excitement of what is to come will give us a start, but to keep the ball rolling, many other things will have to be tended to.

When I started college, I soon realized that there was going to be a lot of hard work and I would have to apply myself. My expectation about college had been about being on my own and doing what I wanted to do.

I thought I was ready to make my life decisions without any interruption from my parents. I truly made a mess of things and ended up dropping out of college and going to night school. Now I was working all day and going to school at night.

The great expectations I had at high school graduation had collided with the real truth of what it takes to make those expectations a reality. It became clear that those expectations could only be realized by the knowledge of what it took to make them a reality. I found that some of the most valuable knowledge I had were the lessons of the past that had been taught to me by my parents.

I wanted to get out on my own and live my new adventure without interruption from my parents and now I was working harder than I had ever worked and living on less than I ever had.

Is it possible to throw away very valuable life lessons because we expect something to happen? Great expectations precede great achievements, but can they ever happen without applying the lessons we have already learned? What keeps our dreams from becoming nightmares?

These and other life questions will be addressed Sunday morning as “The Gathering Place Family” meets in the Washington High School Library for Bible Study at 9:30 and in the gymnasium at 10 a.m. for our Pre-Service Connection where we enjoy coffee, juice and donuts. Our Worship Service and Children’s Church then begins at 10:30. Come at 7 p.m. and be part of our Wednesday night Bible Study and Children’s Ministry on the third floor above Trends at 120 W. Court St. in Washington Court House.

By John G. Pfeifer

Religion Columnist