Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Surprise! - Day 1

Eno's Pizza Tavern by Tilton Lane.
So, I did it. I woke up this morning and asked God to surprise me. It felt risky and a bit scary. It also felt good to just say it. Most of the time when I pray I'm pretty much saying a lot of the same things that I always say. It was good, for once, to pray something different and unusual. Can't wait to see what happens!

My first surprise hit at about Noon when I spoke to Kim on the phone and she reminded me that we had to go to the First Baptist Academy Christmas party that night. Ughhhh. A Christmas party with a bunch of people whom I hardly know. Sounds dreadful. Add to it the fact that attending this Christmas party would be infinitely inconvenient. I was ready to pull the plug on this whole deal. Kim also informed me that there would be a $20 fee to attend. That was all it took to set me off.
"$20! So, let me get this straight. You have to drive home from Dallas, drop the kids off, freshen up, and then you and I have to get in the van and drive all the way back to Dallas to go to a party that we have to pay to attend? It isn't enough that we have to pay for gas and a babysitter? We need to back out of this thing! I'll go, but I'm not going to be happy about it."
We climbed into the van at about 5:30pm. By 6:35, we were lost in Oak Cliff. The directions Kim had been given were a little off, and we were aimlessly touring South Dallas at night. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper.

Somehow, by sheer dumb luck, we managed to navigate our way to the party. It was at a little restaurant called Eno's, and it was nestled in a quaint and beautiful part of South Dallas (the Bishop Arts District). Apparently one of the graduates of Kim's school owns and operates this wonderful Italian tavern. If you have the chance, check this place out. The atmosphere is amazing.

We entered the party and enjoyed some really good pizza, pasta, and - get this - they had root beer on tap! After our meal, everyone got a root beer float, and it was heavenly. We sat with the head basketball coach at Kim's school, and he was a delightful person. We talked for at least an hour and a half, and he told me all about his hometown of Roswell, New Mexico. Yep, Roswell is where all those supposed alien sightings occurred. Supposedly the governement has some secret alien laboratory hidden in the Roswell area. Urban legend? Depends on if you like The X-files or not!

Anyway, God managed to surprise me in spite of my horrible attitude. He showed me that long, irritating, inconvenient journeys sometimes lead you to the best, most enjoyable surprises. Isn't that the whole lesson of the Israelites journey to the promised land? I guess sometimes you have to wait to judge the journey until you've reached the destination.

Can't wait to see what happens tomorrow!!


melly said...

My surprise was my 2nd very quiet day in a row. I haven't had even one of these days since Hurricane Ike relocated my mom to our home. I am being surprised by some tough personal issues God is dealing with me about. Family sometimes brings out the worst in me. I feel a bit like Paul "what I should do I do not, but what I should not do I do" It will be a great surprise in how HE chooses to deal with me and how HE shows me how to deal with myself.I know this may be a strange sounding post, but God knows what I am talking about.We will see what tomorrow will hold. I'm ready for a SURPRISE with His love wrapped all around it!!!

Truth is Stranger than Fiction said...

Thanks for this post, Steve, and I can't wait to eat at that PLACE you described! Wow.

Well, I prayed "Surprise me, God" for the first time on Monday, and I got a huge and pleasant surprise in the form of a phone call from an estranged relative, asking a favor that I was thrilled to say yes to. It was a milestone.

Tuesday, I prayed "Surprise me, God" for the 2nd time, and we got a huge surprise in the form of a court ruling that was way more positive than we expected in a custody dispute. It was actually a complete victory, when we had expected complete defeat. Huge.

All I could say to God was "thank you".

Anonymous said...

Steve, I know exactly how you feel with the "surprise" thing. It has caused me to look at everything and everywhere for God's presence and Blessings. They're not always what I thought they would look like, but I recognize God's hand. It has caused my focus to be completely different. I feel so much less selfish, b/c I'm looking for that surprise in others, rather than what's in it for me. The journaling really causes you to reflect on your day and how God has shown Himself to me, rather than all the negative things I could choose to focus on.

Steve Hayes said...

Thanks to all of you who have commented. It's great to hear your stories of surprise! Keep it up.

Steph, I know about your phone call and the custody ruling. It's one of the perks of working out each day with your son. I'm amazed at what God is doing with your family. Pretty awesome!!

Truth is Stranger than Fiction said...

Hey...those workouts are paying off in my son, I noticed yesterday. I think he looks leaner around the middle. I said to him, "Are you losing weight?" And they told me he'd been working out. And I told him that he is getting more of that disgustingly unfair natural lean look that you have when you're younger.