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Laurie Metcalf on Expectations

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The hope of the righteous ends in gladness, but the expectation of the wicked comes to nothing. (Proverbs 10:28)


The next celebrity I’d like to resource from the book, “On Point,” is Laurie Metcalf. Metcalf is an actress who has starred in movies like “Scream 2,” and television shows like “Roseanne” and “The Connors.” (The above photo is from 1992, when Metcalf received an Oscar for “Roseanne.”) But for a huge “Big Bang Theory” fan like me, her greatest role is as Sheldon Cooper’s mother. Because of these experiences, she is able to speak on the topic of “Expectations.” Metcalf says, “When I first started out I never expected to make a living from acting-I was too practical-so I always had a backup secretarial job. I never expected to be able to build a career from something that I otherwise would have done for free.

Laurie Metcalf’s feelings are not unique. Most of us play it safe and keep our own expectations low, so we never disappoint ourselves or others. It takes a courageous person to put yourself out there and tell yourself, and others, that you are setting your bar high. Yet, if you are ever going to fulfill the potential God has for your life, you will need to risk, and set your expectations higher.

Metcalf continues, “It’s scary to go out on a limb. I was an original member of Steppenwolf Theater Company, and frankly, if it weren’t for that group I would have chickened out. I wouldn’t have trusted I could make it on my own.” To have high expectations, one apparently needs supportive people to reassure and affirm your ability which, in turn, gives you the confidence to raise the bar and increase your expectations.

Today, think about the people in your life who gave you the confidence to lift your expectations. Prayerfully, thank God for their influence in your life. Yet, continue your prayer by asking God to give you the God-given confidence to raise that bar, not based on how other people think of you, but because you are a child of God, with your own unique call. The more you and God communicate about your call, the higher your expectations become. This does not mean you should raise them beyond reality, but to align your expectations with the expectations God has for you. Then, you will live free and joyous. You can be as fulfilled as Sheldon Cooper’s mother!