I have a passion for movies and especially for finding theological themes in movies. That's the disclaimer. Not that I am a movie snob- (even though my Netflix queue may say otherwise. Some of the categories on my queue include "Critically Acclaimed Visually Striking Cerebral Movies" or "Controversial Understated Emotional Foreign Dramas.") I'm more like a movie geek. I like obscure, somewhat heady movies with deep characterization and rich story.
So when I recently watched the old 1980's version of Pippi Longstocking with my grandchildren, I did not expect to find anything remotely reflective about it. The plot is thin and the acting even worse- all the children speak too fast with little or no believability; the adult cast is somewhat better (Eileen Brennan being the obvious bright spot) but overall sadly lacking...
However, there one bit of dialogue that happens very quickly, that caught my attention. Pippi and the two neighborhood kids are going shopping. As they are about to enter a "cleaning supply store," the children ask, "What are we buying today, Pippi?" A wide smile appears on Pippi's face and she answers "A grand piano!" The kids quickly interject "They don't sell pianos here, Pippi." But Pippi's smile remains... "They might today!" she says.
They might today!
I think I want to adopt that as a personal motto! Too often I go into a situation, expecting it to turn out....well... exactly as I expect it to, and nothing more. And more often than not, I am correct. But by holding on to my own expectations, I don't leave room for the Spirit to surprise me. Heck, I don't even leave room for people to surprise me.
Yet, I profess to believe in the God of surprises; the God who promises to go beyond everything I can dream or think or imagine!
Today holds the promise of being something more than I expect. But perhaps I need to hold the door open for grand pianos to be found in cleaning supply stores. Perhaps I need to drop what I know to be true; what I think about the world, and instead look for what God is saying and doing in the world.
What would life look like if we all dropped our expectations; of people, of situations, of God... and just lived, watching and waiting for God's leading and movement in our lives? How different would I respond to things that happen in any given day if I were free to act without anticipating the outcome? And how would it affect the people with whom I interact?
Would they perhaps be free to drop their walls as well? I don't know... but they might today!
Food for thought...