Surprised by the Unexpected
by MaryPat Potts
Snow falling on an October Autumn day…
More than tiny flakes dusting our reality with white visions of what’s to come
Looking like true Winter, and feeling like it, too
I am not ready. This was a big surprise.
I’m not finished enjoying Autumn’s bounty.
Except that I guess I am.
How will this affect my life? My Spirit? My Mood?
Like so many obstacles in life, I don’t get to choose what comes my way,
but I can choose how I respond.
Will this drag me down? Will these days dampen my experience of Life? Of Joy? Of Meaning?
Will I be distracted? Derailed? Depressed? Discouraged?
I suppose that’s up to me.
What can be done with these uncomfortable circumstances?
Wallow or complain or be frozen in my tracks?
Or maybe look for the Fun? – a snowman with plastic spider eyes, wrapped in orange ribbon…
Or the Beauty? – a clean purity that covers up the dirt of these days; pine trees laden with white;
Or the change in the air - the quiet blanket that mutes the cacophony of all the chaos of my life…
Seems there are options
Our God seems mischievous sometimes, with a humor in his purpose.
We can’t much control the Covid, nor the racial injustice, nor political unrest in or world,
Any more than we can change a snow cover that interferes with our October plans.
This particular unexpected surprise,
calls us to pause and decide how we will respond
or allow our lives to be affected by such uncertainties.
We are reminded that all we do have power over
is how each of us chooses to respond to uncomfortable realities that take us by surprise.
I choose to embrace the unexpected surprises of life,
Trusting God’s power to help me make the most of things,
To see the Truth and Beauty within the surprising challenge,
and to act only in loving, life-giving ways.
I embrace such Unexpected Surprises as opportunities for transformation.