Last week as Melinda and I were sitting on the couch, I found myself getting lost in my iPad. I was researching the hotel we have booked for an upcoming trip to the Grand Canyon. I was amazed at the history of the hotel and viewed numerous pictures. Pictures of the rooms, the lobby, the grounds, the restaurant etc.… I anticipated the excitement of sharing this information with Melinda, only to get a “not interested” shrug. “Not interested?” I thought to myself, we need to be prepared for our trip and get excited! She replied, I am excited, but I don’t need or want to see everything beforehand, I would like a surprise or two. I paused, thought about it for a while and decided to keep my information to myself so that her surprise could be hopeful. Later in the week as I continued my research and picture dump, I began to contemplate our previous conversation. It became apparent to me that Melinda and I are not that different from most people.
There are many people like me who in the quest for daily experience want to plan, know the facts, and perhaps attempt to control. We view and experience life through the lens of preparedness with an unstated rule “we don’t like surprises.” Then there are people like Melinda, who, although are not against planning, desire a hopeful expectation of experience with surprises. I spent time trying to imagine what living with that hopeful imagination might be. As I reflected on our differences, I was drawn to 1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” I was reminded that I really do not “know” as much as I would like to admit. In the future God is going to reveal to me a picture of myself and the world that is beyond my expectation or understanding. I am reminded of the question “when was the last time God did something in your worship service that wasn’t printed in the bulletin?” Could my personal fear of surprises leave little room for God to act? I encourage you to ponder these words and pray with me for kingdom surprises!
By: John Daniels, Minister of Administration