The day may not go as you planned, and that can be a great gift. Surprises abound when you loosen your hand around your schedule, your time, your to-do list, your hopes. You don’t know what you’ll get, and you can approach that unknowing with anticipation rather than fear, curiosity not apprehension.

Someone once asked me what happened to my pastoral care when I couldn’t control things. It was a rich question. It helped me think about the essential way any pastoral practice is unknown, how it’s an act of faith to serve people as a minister.

The question also helped me remember to pray for surprises in my work. To ask God to open me to surprises. To make me sensitive, like some of my best teachers of ministry have, to the interruptions.

The surprises are the ways I keep wondering into a world of faith and excitement. How poor I’d be if everything went the way I thought–or even hoped–it would. I hope you can embrace the surprises today.

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