Monday, December 29, 2008

God's Little Surprises

Been thinkin' about God stuff.

As a kid, I had some vague notion that God could "call" you to something you might not want to do. Hate to do. I could just see some poor missionary getting tied up and thrown onto a jet, kicking and screaming. I suppose that's not too far off...after all, Moses certainly wasn't thrilled with the idea of speaking to Pharoah. And I'm sure Jonah had a few other more appealing options.

Whatever the case, my perspective changed. I still believed that God called people to certain things, but I no longer felt personally threatened. I didn't think God would stick me in the middle of the Amazon if I desperately didn't want to go. Nor did I think I'd be forced to preach to the masses or dig sewage lines in Ethiopia if I was totally opposed to it.

But there was a scenario I didn't consider...

What if God presented an opportunity that had never even occurred to me? Something that I wasn't particularly opposed to, but was entirely "off my radar."

Lately, it seems like callings of this sort keep happening. Lately, I find myself frequently surprised by God. It's all "who woulda thought??" material...

Who woulda thought I'd be taking questions on adoption from people thousands of miles away?

Who woulda thought I'd be earning money in the (gulp) field of mathematics (???!!!???) and LIKING IT????!!!!!! (And who woulda thought that all these jobs would appear at the exact moment that we financially needed it?)

Who woulda thought that I'd be raising step, bio, and adoptive children and learning so much from all of them?

And who woulda thought that God has such a big sense of humor when it comes to puny little me?...

Not long ago, I was pondering yet another God surprise. I wasn't dreading this particular thing. But it was so different from anything that I'd ever considered, that I wanted to be very, very sure that God was actually knocking on my door. "Are you sure it's me you're wanting, God???" I'd already said "yes" to what I thought was a "call" but my human brain was still slapping the idea around, trying to be absolutely sure, sure, sure (definitely my personality) that this was what I was supposed to be doing.

I often carry on conversations with God as I jog up and down my street. On this particular day, I was reflecting on something our pastor had recently shared. He'd arrived at church very early one morning just to see a deer crossing the parking lot. It's not something you see every day at our church. I don't remember his exact thoughts, but he took it as a special moment from God.

So I end my jog and lean against a fence. "God, it sure would be nice if I had some sort of a sign." I close my eyes. Sure would be cool if I got to have a "wildlife moment" too. I open my eyes and shake my head. Naw, that's ridiculous. Even if this is a call from God, God certainly isn't going to put some deer in my path. So I start back to the house.

Out of the corner of my eyes, something moves. I freeze. Along the back edge of our lawn, I see something. I assume it's Kuddles, our furry, black and white cat. But it waddles a little too much for Kuddles. I look closer. It's black and white all right. And furry. With a long, fluffy tail.

SKUNK!!!!!

It's fully daylight. Up until that moment, I'd never seen a skunk at our house in broad daylight. I'd actually only seen skunks a handful of times in the ten plus years we'd lived there.

God and I had a big 'ole laugh that morning.

I try to pay attention to surprise calls from God. But sometimes I wonder how many of them I miss because my life is so filled with one kind of clutter or another.

I'm trying, God. Listening. Looking for surprises. And ready to laugh.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I'm thinking that may have been the same skunk that sprayed so close to our bedroom window the other night that we both awakened from a dead sleep! He's getting around! ;-)

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