Some time ago – I think it was around the time of the Synod of the Family – Pope Francis made a comment referring to God as “a God of surprises”. This description rankled the feathers of some Catholics, but I heartily concurred. During the past year or so, God has been surprising me in various and sundry ways. And I believe it’s because I finally made the commitment to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Bottom line, for me, is that living and being and operating in God’s will has been life-changing, and continues to be life-changing. Being in His will makes me receptive to surprise. It doesn’t mean there’s less chaos in my life (there isn’t), or fewer problems (there aren’t), and it doesn’t mean every day is sunshine, roses, and Skittles (they aren’t, believe me!). What it means, for me, in a very real and palpable way, is that “though I walk in the valley of death, I fear no evil, for thou art with me”. It’s easier for me to let the shit swirl around me without affecting me. It’s easier to stay in a peaceful frame of mind, for Christ has given His peace to me. It’s easier to be open to the things God calls me to do, even if I don’t understand why it’s me He wants me to do these things.
This is what Pope Francis means by a God of Surprises. Not a God that would surprise us with changing the Church’s teachings as some seem to hope, but of that sense of wonder and joy that comes from living by the Spirit.