This past Sunday our friend Mark mentioned his friend Terry Esau had written several books, one of which is the invitation, "Surprise Me, God". In Terry's words: "What if you started the next thirty days with those three words?" I'm in!
I'm cognizant of the fact that every day is filled with miracles/surprises from God; I also know I'm often oblivious to said miracles, and miss the chance to thank Him. I jumped into this idea with the sole intent of discerning those gifts and acknowledging His work in my day.
Monday July 9 was day one for me, and as I talked with God in the early morning hours, I asked him to surprise me. And I asked Him to help me notice, to sharpen my discernment.
Anticipation can be sweet torture, but waiting on the Lord has become an easier discipline for me in the last few years. I often say, “Life’s an adventure; what’s God got planned for me next?” But lately I have noticed I’m also intrigued by the timing God chooses. I want to ask Him, “Why did such and such happen that particular day or moment or year?” It’s not petulant childish impatience, it’s pure, delightful curiosity and marveling at His perfect design.
So Monday morning, the temperature was thankfully down from the last few weeks and Andrew and I are outside working on the front lawn (and his “work ethic”, the lesson we hope to impart this summer, God willing!).
The mail carrier arrived as we were edging the lawn. It was our usual carrier, a woman I consider an “old hippy”, about my age. She usually parks across the street from our house, loads up her bag and heads down the street, delivering her parcels along the way, crosses over and ends back at our address for the last deposit before heading out. Today, however, she pulled in right at the end of our driveway – on the wrong side of the road – and hopped out. She said a cheery good morning, delivered our mail (and our duplex-mates as well) and then pulled across the street to her usual spot and went about her usual business of delivering the neighborhood’s mail.
It was kind of odd, but I dismissed it and finished up the task at hand. Heading into the house for a drink of water, I grabbed the mail – a bill, a flyer, a coupon book. And there was an envelope from GC Incorporated.
GC pays us a quarterly amount to private label and market our patented squirrel feeder. Per our agreement, GC has 30 days after the end of the quarter to pay us. With the economy the way it has been, the last couple of years GC has been taking advantage of the full 30-days before paying us, I’m guessing to collect as much interest as they can before disbursing the funds. Good for them, not so good for us. They used to pay within the first ten days. And July always seems to be the worst time of year for us financially.
Petulant childish impatience abounds in late June/early July when the bills come due.
Yet there was the check, on July 9th, answering my prayer from July 5th when I realized we were going to be hard-pressed to make it to next payday with gas in both cars!
Thank you God! But what’s with the urgent delivery? In my mental replay, the hippy mail carrier skids to a stop, screeching tires and all, jumps out, waving the envelope for me to see and then drops it in the box before dancing away. Didn’t happen exactly that way, but I get the feeling God was having a grand chuckle as I processed the ensuing events.
All I have left to say is, “Good one, God! And thank you - again! And, what’s next? Surprise me, God!”