Reflecting on Surprises….

We were surprised by over 24 hours of wintery mix this weekend, leaving behind a cold, wet mess. Snow before Thanksgiving is unusual here in Virginia, let alone prior to Halloween. So I was drawn to this photo of Knoebel’s Amusement Park in Elysburg, PA, taken by my cousin Diane. Everything is covered with ice and snow, even the rides in the background. Imagine how cold those metal rides would be and you’ll know why the place is deserted. Everyone is holed up at home, curled up in a blanket with a book, unless they need to battle the hordes for the last loaf of bread or roll of toilet paper. I don’t know about you, but I am not the biggest fan of surprises. Sometimes not knowing what will happen is fun, but more often, it turns out like this freak snowstorm. What we thought would be fun ends up being a sloppy mess. No matter how much planning we do in advance, a detail is forgotten, or the secret is inadvertently revealed. Worst yet, the surprise may remain a secret through extraordinary methods, causing hard feelings and unintentional consequences. What was meant to be a treat turns into a mean spirited trick. Yet there are also times when we are surprised despite the best efforts to be prepared. Throughout the ages, the scripture abounds with prophecies about the Messiah. Again and again, Christ explained his impending death to the disciples, those closest to him. Yet none were prepared for the crucifixion. Perhaps they simply chose not to listen, preferring to believe things would stay the same if they ignored what Jesus was saying. By disregarding the bad news, they also missed the Good News. In the end, the disciples were surprised by Christ’s death, and unprepared for the Resurrection. Take time today to really listen to what others are saying. Resist the temptation to cut the conversation short, or to disregard news you would rather not hear. Look for the good news buried beneath the bad, or a way to make a difference in your life or the lives of those close to you. And remember, even if your pumpkins are covered in snow, there’s a lot of pumpkin and only a little snow. Photo by Diane Brooks Myers

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