Expect the unexpected and learn to thrive
What is it about the unexpected that makes us nervous? Is it because we link the unknown to so much uncertainty? Or is that our minds immediately gravitate towards the negative?
It’s the unexpected that changes our lives.
We have a tendency to worry about tomorrow or what could happen? The apostle, Matthew, advises us, “not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”
And then he concludes this passage with the instruction: “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
If that isn’t a reminder that we can’t control tomorrow or the unexpected, so why worry, then I don’t know what is?
Just recently, I’ve been thinking about the uncertainty of life. Without sounding too morbid, I believe that we need to prepare for the unexpected but live for today. Yet, there is a fine line, a balance if you will, between choosing faith or fear, between hope and worry, between preparing and living in the now.
Nearly all the best things in life can come through the unexpected.
I think back to when I met my husband. I was on a double-blind date with a friend, and to this day, we can’t remember if I went as Neil’s date to the wedding or his friend. A year went by, and nothing happened.
But then the unexpected rocked our worlds. Through a series of events and over five days, Neil and I went from almost strangers to knowing that we would be married one day. It was so unexpected and far out of left field.
Just when you think you have life all figured out, something changes everything.
We dated for six months, then Neil proposed and within three months after our engagement we said, “I Do.” Twenty-one years down the line, we are still in love – more so in fact.
Have you thought about that job promotion, the song release or a sudden breakthrough in finances or even relationships? An unexpected pregnancy could even spark fear, but consider the plan that God might have for the little one. Life can change in a moment – and it isn’t all bad.
Unexpected events can also lead to hardship. Take our armed robbery as an example. Or the day my dad was diagnosed with cancer. Hard times have a way of shaping one’s character. One friend said that she thinks that there is a gift in every sorrow we endure. We just have to look for it.
Think about the difficult times, conflicts or experiences you’ve encountered. What have you learned? What gift could be hidden underneath the pain? Every hardship, loss, heartache, and change can produce jewels in our character. I think that a beautiful life emerges when we deal with the unforseen with the attitude of a learner. Then, when the tides change unanticipated good times arrive, we can celebrate and enjoy them even more.
Imagine your life filled with diamonds and pearls.
Diamonds form over time under a high temperature and extreme pressure. A small irritant makes a pearl over a slow period. This irritant bothers the mollusk which then slowly secretes nacre to protect itself. The nacre coats the irritant and the layers build up over years. A pearl can take up to seven years to grow. Beauty emerges from pressure, grit and even irritation if we allow the unexpected to soften us, shape us and even build depth in our lives.
Even Scripture records the words of character growth through trials. Read James 1:2-4, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
The unexpected moments in life teach us to go with what happens, to bounce back after setbacks and to adapt, to get used to change.
Rejoice in the good times, celebrate life and endure with patience during the hard times.
Expect the unexpected
Revel in life
Grab hold of what may come with both hands
Support each other during the hard times
Celebrate one another’s success
And know that change will come.
Expect the unforseen.
Life is a grand adventure. Therefore, we need not fear but rather live fully alive. So, this is my challenge to you (and me today): Can you embrace life, be fully present and live fearlessly?
If you like to join my 7-day Fearless Challenge starting next month, then click on this Facebook link to join the group. I hope to see you there.