“God is the God of surprises, that God is always new: he never contradicts himself, never says that what he had said was wrong, ever, but he always surprises us.”
~ Pope Francis
Thanks to my wonderful mother, I was able to take Tricia on a little overnight to Maryland’s Eastern Shore this week. Tricia and I both enjoy sitting by a pool or the ocean, but unlike my wife, I’ve never been able to read in that setting. Especially when we are without the kids and Tricia is lost in her latest novel, I quickly get antsy and need to walk or eat or cannonball. When I have run out of ways to entertain myself, I can usually pull Tricia away from her book momentarily by engaging her in some good, old fashioned people watching. I suggest a plot for strangers on the other side of the pool deck and see what she thinks. I try to observe the situation from a distance and I come to a pretty quick assessment of what is happening, what needs to happen, and what might happen next. “Aren’t you impressed by my creativity?” I asked Tricia who was clearly not paying attention to me. “No,” she said without looking up. “It’s pretty normal for you to invent all sorts of things you think are going on in people’s lives to fit your narrative.”
Dang! I didn’t need more cold Maryland pool water to wake me up. Might my fun at the pool be a game I am playing during the week without even knowing it? Am I able to separate fact from fiction in the stories I tell myself about the people I lead? Do I simplify the plot or water down the character development to skip to the ending in my head that I want? In my story of faith, am I ready and willing for a plot twist? Here’s to being open to God’s surprises in our summer reading this year.