The Cure for Disappointment, Fr. Gary’s Message
We have all experienced disappointment in life. Disappointment is bred from a variety of matters, from the most trivial to the most crucial. We have been disappointed by a friend or family member. The outcome of our favorite sports team in the World Series can add disappointment to our lives. We may disappoint ourselves by not properly preparing for a test at school or a project at work. We encounter disappointment, for the most part, because things just don’t go the way we want or expect them to. There is a cure for disappointment.
There are three important realizations to make about disappointments and understanding their influence in our lives. First, disappointment is inevitable. Everything and everyone, in every situation, at some point or another, will eventually provide us with a good dose of disappointment. A close friend, a loving family member, and even your parish priest will disappoint you some way, somehow sometimes. When our expectations are not met we feel disappointment. Second, realizing this first point, helps us recover from the feeling of being let down. Having an understanding that no one and nothing is perfect, and things will not operate the way we expect, lessens the pain of our distress. Lastly, Christ never disappoints. Using this last point, with the understanding of the first two points, allows us to properly understand God’s will and to be grateful for the true blessings in our lives. We are reminded of the cure for disappointment each time we recite the Lord’s Prayer. That remedy is four simple words, “Thy will be done.”
When we reflect on a disappointing incident in life it is easy to identify its spiritual, psychological, and emotional importance. Our response reflects our relationship with Christ. Our frustrations fade when we put our trust in Him- even when the results are NOT what we truly wish. Identifying an unrealistic expectation is a step towards spiritual, psychological and emotional maturity.
Moving through the pain and towards an understanding of God’s dominance in our life will increase our faith and lessen life’s stress. A perfect example from scripture is from Luke 8:41-56. In this passage we learn about two people dealing with horrible life challenges. The first, Jairus, a ruler of a synagogue, is dealing with an illness that is threatening the life of his daughter. He has no where else to turn. He doesn’t know what to do. He manages through the crowd to get to Christ, falls at the Lord’s feet and begs Him to come to his home to heal her. In the meantime, a woman with an issue fights her way through the mass of people to find relief from Christ. St. Luke explains that she spent all her “living on physicians and they could not heal her.” Disappointed by conventional solutions both are distraught and overwhelmed by their tragic circumstances. Notice, though, that finally, after enduring disappointments, they both realize that their hope and relief will come from God. Although the woman is immediately healed, the ruler’s daughter is pronounced dead. St. Luke explains, “a man from the ruler's house came and said, ‘Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher anymore.’” What comes next, from the mouth our Lord, is the cure for disappointment! Christ says, “"Do not fear; only believe.” Jesus enters the room; the girl’s spirit is returned, and her amazed parents rejoice.
It is essential that we take our challenges, needs and issues and lay them before God. Attempting to endure life’s tribulation without the influence and guidance from God will intensify our agony. We must be wise and sensible with which challenges we seek God’s assistance. Asking that our sports team win is not a sensible prayer. Rather as we look for relief during illness, to find strength in times of weakness, and clarity in the fog of life’s trials, we ask our Lord, on bended knee and humble heart, for His “will to be done.” Along with a desire to comply with His will it is wise to request, strength and stamina to faithfully endure as His “will be done.”
In Christ’s Service,
Fr. Gary Kyriacou