Sunday, September 18, 2011

A God Who Constantly Surprises Us

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways.”  (Isaiah 55:8)

Sometimes we have to step back to see God tapping us on the shoulder and reminding us that he’s there:

-A little girl who I barely know is walking in a perfectly straight line with her Kindergarten class while I walk in the other direction.  She suddenly breaks the line to give me a hug.

-A woman approaches a brother priest in a New York subway last week on the way to Ground Zero to tell him how she ran out of the Twin Towers on 9/11, sought refuge in a church, saw the firefighters lay their fallen chaplain by the altar, and rediscovered her faith.  (Read more of Father Luis' moving story here:

-A man approaches me after a weekday Mass to simply tell me: “Thank you for being a priest.”

-A random email or text message is received from a friend, a family member, an old parishioner, or student to remind me that I am loved and somehow made a difference in somebody’s life.

-A young man who pulls me aside out of the blue and tells me:  “Father, I think I want to be a priest.”

-A routine phone call from my sister becomes not so routine and flat out reduces me to tears when she tells me she is going to pass on my name to her unborn son.

Just when you think you have God figured out, he starts to surprise you in ways that you couldn’t possibly imagine.  Try as we might to do things “our way,” we still seem surprised when His way turns out infinitely better.  Our ways are definitely not his ways.  He is a God who will favor those who are last, yet we still scratch and claw to strive to be first.  When are we going to learn to let God be God and to just get out of his way?  It’s amazing how easy life gets and how joyful we become when we just surrender to His will.  And even then, He continues to amaze us, surprise us, and overwhelm us with the depths of his love.  Because just when you think God cannot possibly demonstrate the depths of his love for you any more than he already has…he goes even deeper!

This week, let yourself be surprised by your God.