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Expectations

Greenland mountains

Two years ago, I was lucky enough to go on a trip to Europe . My sister was beginning a program through her university to study abroad and my wife and I decided it would be fun to fly over with her. The three of us flew into Zurich where we explored for a couple days. We then took a train over to Innsbruck, Austria and made sure my sister was all set up with her group. My wife and I left her there and spent the next week riding trains all around the Alps.

When our trip was over we returned to Zurich and sat down on a plane, preparing for the long flight back to America. We both did what we could to sleep the whole way but could not help waking up every now and then. When I did wake up I would look over at my sleeping wife, then out the window down at the Earth. Beautiful sights indeed.

Halfway through the flight I looked out the window and expected to see the vast Atlantic Ocean. The ocean is beautiful from the air. Its deep blue stretching in every direction as far as the eye can see. I marveled at how lucky we were to be sitting with ease aboard a giant flying machine crossing the Atlantic with no effort or hardship.

I was quite surprised when I saw the opposite! What I saw was enormous snow covered mountains. They were absolutely beautiful and the fact that this was not what I expected to see made them even more amazing to me in that moment. I looked at the interactive map on the seat in front of me and it showed that we were flying over the tip of Greenland.

It didn't last long. A few minutes later we were past it and back over open ocean. If I hadn't woken up at that moment I would have missed seeing it entirely.

I sat and thought about how incredible this all was. More importantly this brief experience was not what I expected. I would have been happy to have seen just the Atlantic. I instead saw something else, something even better that what I expected.

If you want God to laugh, tell him your plans

The concept to take from all of this is that even during times in your life when you do not receive or experience what you expect to, what you do receive could be much greater. Be open to unexpected paths. Trying to plan out your life certainly does have great value. But planning could prevent you from a path much more fulfilling.

Things change with time. Learn to love and appreciate them. Things unexpected could be some of the greatest gifts of your life.