Did you plan your life to be the way it is today? What happened to the dreams and ideals? In this series we are thinking about burdens we unnecessarily carry and this month we are looking at that heavy emotion of disappointment.
We can be disappointed with ourselves. Perhaps we haven’t lived up to our own standards. If only I had taken a different path, or hadn’t married that person or had pursued a different career. Without realising it we can carry a negative view of ourselves.
Perhaps we are in a relationship with someone who we thought we knew, only to discover that we never knew them at all. Maybe they feel the same about us. Perhaps you are wondering what happened to that cute baby who has turned into a demanding adolescent. The boss who promised so much when you joined the company but now seems to have lost interest. So many potential points of frustration and disappointment with others.
On an Irish religious affairs programme Stephen Fry has denounced God as ‘utterly evil, capricious and monstrous’, if he were to exist. Something has happened there because as a young man it is reported that he considered becoming a priest. His view of God and his understanding of free-will might be woefully lacking but what came in to change his mind? At the very least there must have been some disappointment with God. Are you disappointed with God? Did you once believe only to feel let down when he didn’t answer your prayer in the way you wanted? As Giles Fraser wrote in the Guardian, ‘I don’t believe in the God that Stephen Fry doesn’t believe in either.’
Perhaps it is time to face up to our disappointments, time to rethink our view of God. Again, Charles Fraser: ‘This is why the Jesus story is, for me, the most theologically revolutionary story that there can be. God as a baby. God poor. God helpless on a cross. God with a mocking and ironic crown of thorns.’ God knows what pain, frustration and disappointment is all about so he draws alongside us in ours and wants to be there for us. The question is, will we let him ?