Text books, videos, articles, and online resources can give you an inaccurate perception of what a work of art looks like in person. It might be dull, cracked, or just less grand than expected. Expectations can sometimes cause our experiences to be less than we hoped. One way to avoid such disappointment is to pay attention! In art history books, images are always accompanied by information regarding artist, date, location, and size. However, numbers and text at times can provide only a glimpse without being able to see the work in a space. You just can't substitute seeing something in person to truly observe, understand, appreciate, and ...."get it".
In the past, I've read the accounts of the women at the tomb & the disciples (basically hiding), and thought..."DIDN'T THEY HEAR WHAT JESUS SAID? WHERE IS THEIR FAITH?" They walked with Jesus, they talked with Jesus, and they were with Jesus for several years. How could they not understand what was going on? There was an expectation on their part that got in the way of them truly "getting it". No matter the preparation for what was going to happen, the repeated attempts of Jesus to get them ready, and the prophesy written in scripture that they knew...they couldn't imagine Jesus's death, burial, and resurrection. They pictured things happening much differently. They had an expectation that things should unfold as THEY imagined it. The things that they had read, heard, seen, and experienced were slanted to their idea of what God should do. They were reminded in the midst of their disbelief because of their unmet expectation...."He is not here; he is risen, just as he said."
How often do we do the same thing? We expect God to work a certain way or do a certain thing, and find ourselves dismayed when it doesn't happen as we expected. Our plans & God's plans don't always line up. However, if we seek Him first...if our desire is to know Him & make Him known...if we can rest in the knowledge & experience that God is God and can be trusted...great expectations can be a healthy & beautiful thing.