There is a certain monotony to life.
No matter how involved you are in the social scene, at your church or with your family, some things never change – you wake up, go to work, check e-mails, sit in traffic, make dinner, watch a TV show, go to sleep and repeat the majority of the week. This schedule is standard, expected and most often, not questioned.
Author and speaker Terry Esau decided to question this monotonous way of life back in 2005 when he embarked on a 30-day faith experiment. The objective was simple: Start each day by simply saying, “Surprise me, God.”
This basic request led to 30 days of life-changing experiences, which Esau chronicles in his book, “Surprise Me: A 30-Day Faith Experiment.”
He explains the premise of his faith experiment on the book’s website:
“Wouldn’t it be cool if our faith were a little more raw, a little more real, more spontaneous, unscripted, more like an adventure? So I got this idea, not for a TV show but an experiment. A faith experiment. What if: Every day, for thirty days, I pray and ask God to surprise me? ‘Surprise Me, God.’ Nothing more, nothing less. Three words. Not asking for something in particular. Not giving him my list. Not presenting my agenda. Just inviting him to barge into my life in any old way he pleases – to crash into the busyness of my schedule and mess with it.”
By simply beginning each day with a request for God to surprise him in some way, Esau experienced life in a much deeper, meaningful way. He saw God in his interactions with his children. He found God on a routine bike ride. He discovered surprises about who he is and who he is not. He witnessed God’s hand in the day-to-day monotony that all of us can get caught up in.
As a single Catholic, you may be waiting for the next big surprise from God. Esau notes in his book that not all of God’s surprises during his faith experiment were easy to handle. But by opening ourselves to God’s will, we allow Him to work in us in the very way He chooses.
There are many things in life that we can plan for – retirement, vacations, new homes, career moves. But we cannot plan for the infinite amount of blessings God is waiting to bestow on each of us through life’s surprises.
Start tomorrow with the simple phrase, “Surprise me, God,” and wait to be surprised.