What Do You Expect?

If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm a result-oriented kind of girl.  If I perform a task, no matter how big or small, I want to see results.  When I sweep the floors, I expect to see clean, hair-free surfaces.  When I write and publish a book, I long to see sales.  When I diet and exercise, I desire weight loss and improved overall health.  It's that simple.  I do the work, so I want to see the fruits of my labor.

Often, though, that desire gets me into trouble.  I tend to have unrealistic expectations, so when those clean floors don't last the day, I'm frustrated.  When the book sales don't come in, I'm discouraged.  When my weight goes up and I feel horrible after two weeks of healthy eating and daily exercise, I'm devastated.  My expectation of results tends to cause more heartache than joy, leaving me disheartened and discouraged.

As I thought on this quandary this morning, I rationalized, "Well, there's certainly nothing wrong with having hopes and dreams. Goals are good.  They motivate us to move toward something greater.  So how can it be wrong to expect results from my efforts?"  The answer arrived in the form of a still, small voice.  Having goals is not the problem.  My error lies in the identity of my goals.  I'm wanting and expecting the wrong things, so naturally, when I don't get them, I'm disappointed.

What would happen if I had one goal in mind for everything I did in life?  Every load of laundry.  Every toilet I clean.  Every book I write or speech I give.  Every healthy food choice and minute of exercise.  What if, instead of having a myriad of goals, I dedicated my entire life to only one--the glory of God?

This means that instead of doing things to acquire the expected results, I'd do them simply because they were the right things to do.  Instead of cleaning my house because the mess is finally getting on my nerves, I'd clean it because the Bible says for all things to be done decently and in order.  Instead of writing books for an income, I'd write them because that's what the Lord has called me to do.  Instead of dieting and exercising to lose weight and improve my health, I'd do it because my body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, and I need to treat it as such.  In other words, I'd be far more focused on the work than I would on the results.  The results are not my concern.  Those are in God's hands, and trying to believe otherwise only leads to discouragement and frustration.

Many tasks.  One goal.  To glorify Christ in all that I do.  And as long as I keep that as my goal and daily work toward it, I'll never be disappointed.

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; - Colossians 3:23