It seems that I’m often getting surprised. It’s usually not a huge surprise…nothing earth shattering, but enough to knock me off balance a bit. Maybe an appointment gets cancelled or I’m asked to do something that I wasn’t planning and my schedule and plans get knocked out of whack.
“David, would you mind running some errands to Shoprite, and can you pick up Frank & LuLu at the airport.. their flight gets in at 11:30pm. Gee, let me think a moment… I was planning to sit in a chair and look out the window, and maybe straighten out my sock drawer…. quick THINK,THINK, come up with a good excuse….rats, nothing. “Yes, I think I can do that …smile, smile….I’d love to pick up Frank & LuLu.” (bite tongue… bite tongue)
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.” (1Peter 4:12-13) Unfortunately I’m often surprised by the fiery ordeals… sometimes by the “major conflagrations” and other times by the “minor hot foot”.
What should we do so that we’re not surprised? Listen to this.
“From the moment we get up in the morning we have our suffering to do just as we have our work to do.”(Madeleine Delbrel, Magnificat, July 29, 2021) In other words, we need to plan for our daily dose of suffering…large and small. As we say in our daily offering…Lord Jesus I offer my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day… not just the cancers and deaths and deep sorrows, but also the minor aggravations when our will is crossed. Delbrel goes on to say “we can quickly recognize a saint in all these small occasions of suffering. He does it with an ease, a naturalness and grace – in both senses of the word- a good grace that makes of this small suffering a massive work of love.” So, we need to prepare for and expect this daily dose of suffering, and not be surprised when it comes. Let’s be surprised when it doesn’t come.
Wait a moment… someone just asked me to clean up the garbage can that the racoon knocked over…… “here I come …. skip, skip, skip….coming…smile, smile, whistle, whistle…. I’m ready…I’m not surprised.
And that is very good news.