Friday, June 18, 2010

I don't know what to expect

I’m flying to Xi’an this afternoon.
I’m not sure what to expect.
We’ll be training another group of TNTers.
I’m not sure what to expect.
Julie’s getting on a plane this afternoon in Chicago, coming to join us in Xi’an
She’s not sure what to expect.
After I’m done teaching, we’re going to spend a week being touristy. We’re excited, but..
We’re not sure what to expect.

That’s not how we live most of their lives. Most days, we roll out of bed, knowing pretty much what to expect. We know what our drive to work will be like. We know what we’ll be doing most of the day. Sure, there are surprises. But even the most of the “surprises” leave us in our comfort zone. They’re familiar.
• We run into unexpected traffic…but we’ve seen it before.
• There’s an unexpected development at work (or school, or at home)…but it’s not usually we’d never even DREAMED of… (or had nightmares about)
• Sometimes we are faced with unexpected opportunities…but they’re rarely outside the realm of familiarity.

We’ve been studying Genesis this week. Most of the people in Genesis DIDN’T know what to expect.
• Noah obeyed God, but he didn’t really know what to expect.
• Abraham left his homeland, not even knowing where he was going.
• Adam and Eve met each other, not knowing what to expect (and this has never changed in marriage relationships, even to this day…)

But they trusted God. HE knew what to expect. And that was enough for them.

When do the GREAT things happen in life? Usually when things happen that we don't expect. How many “normal” days change our lives? Change the world?

And yet we spend most of our lives trying to avoid the unexpected. Trying to plan everything out carefully. Trying to avoid the uncertain…the unstable…the uncomfortable.

I wonder if we’re sometimes effectively planning to avoid greatness.

What if we lived our lives with an attitude of “I don’t have to know what to expect, because God does…and that’s good enough for me”? This is not an argument against planning- it’s just a thought about our willingness to step into the unknown.

Just thinking out loud…

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