One of my friends said she wasn’t sure what she should wish for someone going to a monastery for a week. Should she tell me to have fun?? Others have wished for me that I have a great experience that exceeds my expectations. I’m not really sure how to answer the fun question or what my expectations are. I have no expectation for what kind of person I’ll be when I’m driving back on Friday. I hope I’ll have had a week where I deepened my relationship with God, but how will that manifest itself? I don’t expect to come back with glowing eyes, suited up in a brown robe, or ready to quit my job. If I make myself available to God’s presence in my life perhaps I’ll come back with a better awareness of how …. Heck, I just don’t know. God works so mysteriously that I just can’t predict or hope or expect anything and I need to be open to anything. If I can just live a little bit more consciously and aware and kindly and present in the moment, well then I guess it will have been a good week. But I can’t let my expectations get in the way of what God wants.
As for the fun question, well I expect to have fun. Though sometimes I wonder if in the modern world we have substituted “fun” for something that we are missing – perhaps a real experience with God? I’m not trying to be puritanical and boring. I have a lot of fun playing soccer, reading, at school, with my friends, tubing the Comal River, and so on, just like everyone else. But when having fun becomes the focus or purpose of any activity, when whether we have fun or not becomes the standard by which we judge something, well then maybe we have missed something. My friend wasn’t implying at all that fun should be the standard by which I should judge my week. But I expect to be challenged this week, to grow this week, to learn this week, to make new friends this week. And for me, that’s fun.
Yes, I know I’m weird.