Terry Esau's "Surprise Me"

Over Christmas, my boyfriend's relatives gave me the book "Surprise Me" as a gift. This is a book written in journal form by the musician Terry Esau, as he took a 30-day journey of asking God daily to surprise him. When I read the title of the book I immedietly decided to put it on the shelves, because I was not ready for any more surprises in my life. "My life is full of enough of them as it is," I thought and verbally announced to my mom and boyfriend. My mom agreed to be cautious and asking God for surprises.

As I've thought about my pessimistic reaction, I've realized that to some degree it goes against my desire to live daily for Christ and to have a positive attitude this 2007. God has surprised me much over the past 5 years with both positive and negative surprises. Plus, I'm often cautious of people who adopt movements asking for God's blessings, such as the "Prayer of Jabez" movement, because I'm worried that people won't realize that with blessings also at times comes challenges and sometimes even suffering. Paul was a blessed man, but how many people when they are honest with themselves, really desire to live the life that Paul lived.

I'm learning or should I say recognizing, that even though I've gone down a journey of faith the past few years, I haven't necessarily modeled the Biblical attitude about such a journey. I have forgotten the character attitude of gratefulness. That attitude that carried Corrie ten Boom and her sister through the Holocaust and gave others around them the faith to persevere.

I want to be like Jesus and I want to follow His example, but at the same time I am weary of the cost that is involved with such a sacrifice. I recognize the great blessings, one of which being living life to the full and experiencing God's grace and might in ways that so many people miss out, but at the same time, I recognize that it isn't always the easiest (according to worldy standards) path to take. In the long run it is the best path, and even in the short stages it is the best, but it requires a lot of trust and it will test and strengthen one's faith.

And then there is the entire question of how one will carry oneself when God opens his or her eyes to see and understand the spiritual realm in a manner that can not be shared or effectively communicated with others. Ahh, it is here that I find my falicy, my great need to share God's revelations and the circumstances and happenings of my life with others. Perhaps, this is the great lesson that God is trying to teach me right now, that there are some spiritual gifts that are not to be shared in a verbal explanation, but are rather to be used for the purposes for which they are given. Now it seems as though I am speaking in some mystical manner, and I think I will leave this here and not comment anymore.

Back to the book. So, I've decided to some degree to take up Terry Esau's challenge to daily invite God to surprise me. But, in taking up the challenge, I've also modified it in such a manner that I can be more comfortable with the request. Perhaps, later I might change my mind, but for the time being, or for at least today, I am inviting God to "surprise me with joy!" I am not commiting to saying this prayer for any length of time. Perhaps it will last just for the day, perhaps it will become the prayer of my heart for decades. Only time and the blessing of discernment from God will tell where this journey will end or will take me. Hopefully to a more open heart and desire for the work of God to be done in my life and in the life of my family.

So, I began reading the book and when the author prayed the prayer, cautiously I might add, I prayed "surprise me with joy." Then the phone rang.

I answered it and it was my grandfather asking me to help he and his friend interpret a dream that they believed came from the Bible.


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