I had a discussion today with a woman who identified something I'd never quite realized.
She was outlining her hopes for her church's pastoral search, and she said that whoever their new pastor turns out to be, he will be stepping into a position that features a large load of expectations, and that she believes this to be true of all pastors.
Every congregant wants various things from their pastor, and some of these things are traits of which they are not even aware.
They want a guy who will always say hello to them or a warm, friendly woman who always greets any guests they bring; someone who always slides a few jokes into weekly sermons, or always begins business meetings with epic, eloquent prayers.
On a larger scale, I stopped to consider the expectations we all have - unwittingly or not - for those who serve us.
We expect waitresses to be friendly, accomodating, and quick, we expect cashiers to respond with bright enthusiasm to our feeble attempts at small talk, we expect police officers to conveniently ignore our speeding.
It might be tempting to wish for our expectations to follow us around in a constant overhead cloud of sorts, clearly displaying themselves to everyone we meet.
I suspect, however, that this would bend most of us to the ground with a profound, trembling fear of impending failure.