Welcoming the unexpected

Marti reminded me that I never told you how we finally got home from Mexico. Actually, it was such an uneventful crossing that there wasn’t much to tell. It was a completely different world from what we found at the border the night before. From where we shared our last meal together in Mexico, to Anne’s driveway in San Clemente, was exactly two hours, including the crossing. Record time.

The only eventfulness in that experience was the fact that Anne’s car ran out of gas a few feet short of her apartment parking space, so, of course, Chandler and I went to get her gas. It took two trips with a one-gallon can to get enough into the carburetor to start up her car.

Which brings up something notable about that word “uneventful.” If everything goes as planned or predicted, we say it was uneventful. Uneventful means boring. You got what you expected — no more and no less. We got across the border without a hitch. It was uneventful.

Whereas something unexpected — usually a setback of some kind — turns the expected into an event. It becomes “eventful.” Something happened other than what we planned. We should, therefore, be in a position to welcome the unexpected.

I must say that being unable to cross the border on Sunday night forced us into another day in Mexico, which turned out to be the best surfing and the most memorable sunset dinner of our stay.

Unexpected sunset dinner.

Unexpected sunset dinner.

Perhaps we should learn about something here, so as to be more welcoming of the unexpected. In Ephesians, Paul prays: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:210-21). That would indicate that God wants to go way beyond what we ask or imagine, into the realm of the unexpected. If we get what we expect, we don’t get all of what God wanted us to get, so He messes with our plans so as to get us more. And I would add that the unexpected almost always presents itself first as bad news. None of us like to have our plans changed. He’s going to have to change our plans, because what we planned isn’t good enough. God has something better hidden in the unexpected. Learn to welcome it.

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3 Responses to Welcoming the unexpected

  1. Peter Leenheer says:

    That is so true. We see the unexpected often as bad news. It is like a batter getting a curve ball pitched at him/her, you swing differently but you are ready for it.

    a few years ago my wife and I went to Mexico to visit our daughter in laws parents, and family. My newly born grandson was to be baptized there. My wife lost her passport. We had to take a 5 hour bus trip to Mexico City to the only Canadian embassy in Mexico. We had four days to get the new passport, which usually can take up to 6 weeks before you get it. We got it in three days. My daughter in laws brother who is a professor on vacation at the time, accompanied us to Mexico City. He was our guide and translator. My spanish is limited to Si, but I am fluent in that word.

    We toured Mexico City and saw some of the most fascinating Museums, buildings, people and culture. As a former history teacher, I had taught about the Aztecs and Tenochtitlan but never seen the digs where this city actually existed. The unexpected was both wonderful and stressful. Once we realized that God had our backs every step of the way it became one of the most enjoyable trips ever.

    Jane, my wife, was not allowed to go back to Canada at the appointed time because she had lost a card documenting her arrival. I had already been through customs and security and she waved at me but she came home a week later. Too boot she had my suit case and I had hers.

    The Mexican family looked after her and she had experiences she never would have had and treasures to this day.

    I wrote a 30 page document about the ordeal, oops vacation, It was a wonderful experience of where God can actually get you to enjoy the unexpected, the bizarre and off the wall.

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