This morning I spoke on the role we play in demonstrations of Good in our lives. While memorably highlighted by 21st century teachers like Louise Hay and Wayne Dyer, the importance of our expectations is a lesson that Spirit has whispered to us across cultures and throughout the ages.
In the section of the Prophets (Nevi’im) within the Hebrew scriptures in the books of Kings (Melakhim) we are reminded of this in the story of the widow and Elisha (2 Kings 4 in the Christian Bible).
A man – a disciple of Elisha – has died and left his widow and 2 sons indebted. Creditors are coming to take her sons as slaves to settle the debts, and she is desperate for an intervention, so she reaches out to Elisha. He asks her what she has in her possession and she indicates that she has a single oil flask with enough oil to anoint herself and no more.
Elisha instructs her to borrow as many empty oil vessels from family and neighbors as she can. She and her sons gather as many as can be borrowed, and Elisha then instructs her to take the oil in her original vessel and pour it into the empty vessels.
As the story goes, the oil in her original vessel – which she had reported as being only enough for herself for a short period of time – fills each and every vessel that was brought into her home. She is able to sell some of it to pay off her debt; the remaining oil is enough for the widow and her sons to live on.
This is an ancient story of expectation. As each empty vessel was made available to receive the oil, it flowed freely. Once there were no more receptacles available to pour the oil into, it ceased flowing.
As we seek our Good all these centuries later, we too are limited; NOT by the Good that is ours but by the limits we place on the flow of that Good via our expectations.
When we seek more peace, do we expect a little more, or a lot? When we seek expanded prosperity do we pray with words or thoughts like “I don’t need that much – just a little more“. Do we seek spiritual mind treatment for the arrival of a new relationship just to talk ourselves out of expecting anything wonderful because “statistically-speaking,… I’m more likely to be struck by lightning than get married.”
The critical role of our expectation in life has been taught by many prophets, sages and teachers. We forget -AND- we live in a world where bad news sells, so we’ve been conditioned since childhood to expect the worst.
As we study the principles of the Science of Mind and Spirit, we learn how important it is not to limit principle with our beliefs in lack, or our doubts about whether we “deserve” what we seek. Spiritual abundance is infinite. The capacity to heal is available to all of us, whether for financial circumstances, relationships or the healing of a physical or mental condition.
This week as we look at our lives and identify those areas where we are inviting the Divine in for spiritual growth and support, let’s take inventory of what comes next; what we expect. Do we have a single jar for the oil of plenty or have we lined jars up across the floor to receive?
When we seek the Infinite we must be open to infinite blessings so not to limit the Good that is already ours if we will only expand our capacity to receive.
And so it is.