My Christmas morning experience was probably like many other children. I was to wake up my parents before going into our living room. It must be after dawn. Santa would have left presents for me, which were unwrapped and displayed. It was so exciting. Santa’s presents were always assembled. They were ready to play. I had no siblings, so I knew that everything Santa left was for me, except the stockings Santa left for mom and dad. One particular year, I woke up to a noise. I did not know what the noise was. I heard the same noise several times. It was still not light out my window, so I was not allowed to get up. I went back to sleep, but I was repeatedly awakened by the noise. It had to be a new toy that Santa Claus had left. But what was it? Since the noise kept coming back, I lay in bed trying to figure out what the noise could be. Finally, I decided that it sounded like a train whistle. A toy train??? I had not asked for a train. But, I was convinced that the noise had to be a train whistle. Where would I put a toy train. I heard the noise again. Yep, it was definitely a train whistle. I grew excited about the possibility of a train set. A new train set! Wow!
Finally it seemed light enough for me to wake up my parents. We went into the living room. There was no train set. There were lots of toys, including a stage for my Barbie dolls. I had never seen a Barbie stage. The toys were great. The clothes were nice. Still, I was surprised that there was no train set. I knew I had heard the train whistle. I played with all of my toys. Later, in the car on the way to my grandmother’s house, I asked about the noise, the train whistle. My mom told me that had been my dad’s alarm clock. He had set his clock so that he could turn up the furnace before we all got up. There was no train. Well, I did not quite know what to do. After all, there were lots of great toys, but I had been expecting a train!
We have all had time when our expectations were not met. We expected things to go a certain way, but things went another way. Even when the expected event is not something we really wanted, we feel some disappointment. We are prepared for a train set, but we get Barbie stages. Sure, we like the Barbie stage more, but it is not what we actually expected. Learning to cope with unmet expectations is something that we all need to learn. Sometimes unmet expectations allow for better things to happen in our lives. If there had been a train set, then there would have been no Barbie stage. We need to keep our minds, hearts, and lives open to the possibilities rather than become focused on the expected outcome. Being open to different courses of events will allow us to receive more blessings from God, sometimes better than we expected.