Monday, January 28, 2008

Ordered or Surprised?

This week I'm awaiting a package from Amazon. One of the joys of internet shopping, in my opinion, is the ability to track the status of orders. I can go online and see if my order has been shipped, and, once it has left the warehouse, I can track it day by day in its trek across country via UPS or FedEx or USPS. I can track my shipment practically minute by minute en route to my doorstep.

While it's exciting to know that a package (usually filled with new books) is on its way, there's also something to be said for the element of surprise. I love surprises--well, good ones, anyway! (Getting an unexpected card or package in the mail from a friend=good surprise. Getting an unexpected bill or a summons for jury duty=not so good surprise.)

Sometimes I think it would be handy to be able to track the status of our prayer requests. Perhaps it would comfort us to know that at 10:07 a.m., a particular prayer was indeed heard, and at 11:16 a.m. God sent the answer. Then again, it might be maddening if we knew that, while our prayer request was heard, it would be three weeks before it was answered. Or three months. Or three years.

I suppose this falls into the line of questioning about if we knew what the future held, would we be comforted, our fears put at ease? Or would we become even more apprehensive and anxious? I don't know if having a prayer request tracker would be more of a help or a hindrance to our faith.

Some of the best things (and people) that have come into my life have been unexpected, things and relationships that I did not ask for or even knew that I wanted or needed. And some of the best things (and people) that have come into my life have been the direct results of prayers that I've uttered. So it's hard to say what is more enjoyable, being surprised by God, or being reassured of His promises and His attentiveness to our prayers.

Just something to ponder...what are your thoughts on it?

1 comment:

That Girl said...

I always hated it when my parents said, "Maybe later." because I knew that meant "probably not". As much as I would love to track my requests... I'd hate to get a "maybe later" or "probably not".