This year I am planning a Mystery Destination Choir Tour. The kids are not thrilled. Actually, they are being really good sports about it, but I have discovered that they are not used to the idea of Surprise.
I love surprises and come from a long line of family members who like to surprise each other, and always in a good way. My dad loved to trick us into thinking there was no way the family could afford (insert toy, bicycle, stereo, dishwasher) only to surprise us later with exactly what we wanted. And we fell for it every time!
In this modern time, we are never surprised by anything. We wake up and a device tells us the time, the weather outside, and how we slept last night. Another device tells us how many steps we need, how many calories we are allowed, and how much water to drink. We get in our cars and they tell us how many minutes it will take to get to work and what the traffic ahead is like. We get to work and our computers tell us what appointments we have, what we should eat for lunch, and who is having a birthday. There is no room for surprise and little space for spontaneity.
So, I am inviting our youth choir to enter into a year of mystery. I am hoping for one thing: that they will embrace the idea that God knows the plans He has for us and it is not necessary for us to worry about it. We will spend this year preparing music and being faithful to attend choir practice. We don’t know what we are preparing for and that’s ok! I want it to be a great lesson in patience. I want the waiting to feel exciting! I want them to apply it to the season of Advent and try to imagine what it was like to anticipate the Christ when no one knew the enormous “surprise” God had in mind with the birth of a baby in a manger. Mostly, I am praying that it all turns out well and they will be able to look back on the “surprise” year as one that turned out really terrific.
Allow yourself a surprise today. Walk outside and be surprised at the beauty of the earth. Call a friend you have not caught up with for a while. Take a different route to work. Go to the nursery/preschool and watch babies for a few minutes. The whole world is a surprise to them and their faces show it.
And, when you get interrupted today (and you know you will) take it as a sign that even after all these years, God is still trying to surprise you!
CUEnotes Contributor, Director of Youth Music Ministry, FUMC Athens, GA
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