Monday, November 27, 2006

surprise!! In the movie Finding Forrestor, Sean Connery's character, Mr. Forrestor, gives his young prodigy some advice for wooing a girl's heart: give an unexpected gift at an unexpected time. Perhaps this is not just good advice for wooing hearts; maybe it is good advice for all who want to show their love and care for others. Giving gifts when we are supposed to--at birthdays, Christmas, and life events (wedding, baby showers)--is nice. Giving people the things they ask for and need at these times is also nice. Yet, giving an expected gift at an expected time lacks the power of surprise gift. The gifts I remember most throughout my life have always been the ones I didn't expect. My dad once gave my his Bible, a totally unexpected Christmas gift. My mom and dad together gave me the first piece of jewlery my dad gave to my mom when I turned 13. I've had two people cancel loans after I borrowed money from them and before I could pay it back to them. Someone else gave me flowers for no reason. My brother cleaned the apartment when I didn't ask him too. And so the list goes . . . both significant and insignificant items. . . but the gifts that shine greatest in my treasure trove of memories are the ones which were unexpected. Since God's ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts so much better and wiser than ours, life is full of unexpected gifts at unexpected times. My parents were given a son 13 years after their second daughter (and after being told my a doctor they would probably have no more children)! I find myself speaking Chinese and living in Taiwan when 10 years ago I hated foreign languages and I didn't even know where Taiwan was on the globe. My sister recently married a man she met on a crime scene (they both work in law enforcement). And so the list contines. Unexpected gifts. Surprises by the Master. But God's love and peace and grace and mercy also take me by surprise. There are days when I find myself joyful when there are no material, physical reasons to be happy. At times like this I find myself surprised by joy. There are times in life when by all outward apperances I should be a nervous wreck, yet because of God's grace my heart and mind are at total rest and void of worries. At times like this I am surpised by peace. There are times when I should be loney and bored but instead I am content. At times like this I find myself surprised by His great love for me. At other times, I am surprised by how the Holy Spirit works in me or how He works through me. And so the list contines. Unexpected gifts. Surprises by the Master. Really, I suppose I should not be surprised by these things. But, in all honesty, I always am. God's goodness and...

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