17 Replies to “cartoon: expectations”

  1. I’m curious what your inspiration to publication process is. Do you have a thought, jot a note, pencil it out, tweak it from there, or what? Your work is consistent, frequent, and always thought-provoking. And I’m intrigued. I’m no cartoonist, but I do appreciate the concise thinking and simplicity of the medium. How does it work for you?

  2. hey deek: i’m always thinking about this stuff. i see in pictures anyway, being an artist of sorts. i picture things. whenever an idea pops into my head i jot it down… on paper or my note pad on my iphone. thanks for asking.

  3. That cartoon couldn’t be further from the truth as it would relate to my pastor.

    My pastor knows fully well what is inside the human heart (including his) and when he uses the law in his sermon to accuse us, he is the first one he mentions who has blown it when it comes to fullfilling his humanity and being what God expects us to be.

    That cartoon might be a good representation of the Theology of Glory, but a good theologian of the cross would never fit that diagram.

  4. I agree with you Daniel, as long as the expectations are realistic and helpful. Those I have personally experienced in the institutional church have been about giving up more money, more time, more of my personality (so that I can conform), and less about my individual thoughts, ideas and gifts.

  5. Nice one David.

    For a long while I’ve been testing an equation for happiness I came up with years ago. In it’s simplest expression it goes like this: H=R-E, that is, happiness is equal to what is left of reality after we remove what we expected.

    EG: (I use money here for illustrative purposes only, it’s a measurement most people will understand. Use any unit of measurement you like. I tend to measure in hours usually).

    We expect a wage of $100, in reality we receive $1000 which equates to +$900 worth of happiness. Or, conversely, we expect $1000 and get $100 and we are -$900 worth of happiness, in other words pretty unhappy.

    In each of the pictures in the cartoon the distance between the actual and the expected would be the measure of the unhappiness of the particular church/pastor.

    Because this is part of my worldview these days, I have a small problem with the wording of Daniel’s post, but I whole heartedly agree with the sentiment. Just that I’d replace ‘expectations of’ with something like ‘desires for’.

  6. They expect you to have a perfect life because you’re a spiritual leader…they tend to think of you as “other”…I have a friend who says the laity expect all our bodily functions to cease upon ordination. We’re not supposed to cry, feel angry, stub a toe, or break a fingernail. I’ve had people say “you like jazz and blues? but how? you’re a minister.” I didn’t resign from the human race and I don’t live in a cloister(a Benedictine monastery would make all this soooo easy!)They tend to think we have the bible memorized in several translations and are surprised by the fact that we look things up and aren’t at all impressed that we know where to look. They wonder why we still study…didn’t we know everything before we were ordained? And we look at them and see their potential and watch as they self sabatoge and feel insufficient and helpless. We know we shouldn’t have any attatchment to outcomes, but maybe, just maybe,we could have done more. Everyone’s codependency issues get hit…we have to remember not to rescue…not to enable. We have to remember, we are only the messengers…the errand boys. And we have to remember that the sender of the message knows far more than we do, and most of the time, once the message is delivered we need to shut up and butt out.

  7. Wow, preacherlady! At some point, people’s ideas of the distinction between clergy and laity are just plain unhelpful.

  8. Don’t know if this was intentional, but the pastor looks like he’s standing in a tomb, and the congregation looks like the bulls eye on a target! I think there may be some truth in both of those depictions.

  9. Having expectations is what causes us to become offended.

    If we don’t expect much of people, we won’t be offended. We can’t be disappointed if we don’t have high expectations.

    That’s why it hurts so much to be let down by a pastor – really revere them.

    But what do they owe us, really?

  10. Lauren – We should have certain expectations of people who are put in positions of authority. To whom much is given, much will be accepted, or if you prefer the Spiderman version, with great power comes great responsibility.

    The point is that authority should always be used appropriately, and only to build people up, not to oppress them. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t expect leaders to make mistakes. Of course they will. We can expect them to be human like everyone else. What we should expect is that there won’t be a systematic abuse of power of a self-serving use of a position of authority.

    We should also expect that people in authority are there for a good reason, whether for experience or knowledge or talent or gift. It should not be arbitrary.

    And of congregations, we should be able to expect a little love and Christian charity, shouldn’t we?

    I think of the expectations in the cartoon as being of a difference type, about results and performance and about people expecting to have their own needs and wants fulfilled.

  11. “much will be accepted” there should obviously be “much will be expected”… although the first seems to be the common practice

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