In my efforts to disconnect somewhat from Facebook, I've decided to leave the IPad at home unless I'm shopping (my grocery list is on the Echo app); I use the IPad like most folks use their fancy phones, since my actual phone does nothing except send and receive calls. At our tractor club dinner it seemed a little strange, just sitting there without the IPad to pass the time. Two mature ladies near me kept checking their phones, and I patted myself on the back for my strength of character (Ha!).
I've been meaning to deliver a miniature fruitcake to a local guy, and wasn't sure how and when we would get together so I could give it to him. Cliff also had an issue of an antique tractor magazine for the same fellow, so Saturday evening I suggested we just visit the local Methodist Church the man attends and give him these things.
I've been working on living in the moment, and yesterday was a perfect example of how wonderfully it works. I tell myself not to expect certain things to happen, but to just watch and notice what comes along and possibly be surprised.
We went to the little church knowing the group of folks that meet there is not a large one; most of our local churches don't experience huge crowds. The fruit cake recipient greeted us as we walked inside, Cliff handed him a package, and he informed us he would be giving us some sort of German food in exchange. Cliff said the description he gave sounded similar to what we call head cheese, which I've never tasted: Surprise number one of the day: I get to try a new food.
We took a seat, wondering whether we were taking a spot on a pew that some of the regulars might be accustomed to occupying, but I told Cliff that didn't matter, nobody would care. I glanced around noticing about the usual number in the place, just as I expected. And that's when my expectations were shattered, because suddenly people of all ages began filing in, some of them stopping to hug an older lady whose eyes began to fill with tears. Surprise number two: Due to a birthday surprise, there was a much larger group at church than I had anticipated, and some touching moments that warmed my heart.
When it was time for the Scripture before the sermon, the fellow who stood to read it gave chapter and verse and said, "I'm reading from the Message Bible." And I then heard a very familiar passage worded in a most radical way. Now I will confess that the IPad did enter my mind here: I have the Bible Gateway app on the IPad, which has many versions of the Bible available, and I thought, "I wonder if the Message version is on that app. I'm going to check that out when I get home." Surprise number three: I have a new translation of the Bible that is going to surprise me at times. The Message version is included on the app, and while I won't be using that for my main Bible reading, it is going to come in handy to use as a comparison. It's radical, I tell you!
Next the preacher, in the context of his sermon, mentioned a book he's reading that piqued my interest. On the way out, I asked him the name of the book, which he said he's reading on a Nook. I got home and checked for it. The price was $11.99, more than I wanted to pay. The library didn't have it in any form. However, Abe Books had a slightly used version for $3.49 including shipping, so I ordered it. Surprise number four: I'll have a new, interesting book to read.
My daughter, my grandson's wife, and I had a trip to the city planned for the afternoon. Our destination promised to be interesting and fun. Unfortunately, it wasn't as we expected. But with the IPad at home, I was tuned in to our conversations and we had a lot of laughs at the sort of things that only family members can discuss; we also made a fruitful stop on the way home that made up for the letdown of our original destination. Surprise number five: Who cares if the plan didn't work out? Getting there and getting home made it a fun trip.
So here I sit at the beginning of my day, trying very hard not to have any expectations. Because I know that if I keep my eyes open, unexpected blessings are liable to come along at any given moment. Yesterday taught me that.