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Friday, December 19, 2008

Day 21: Expect the Unexpected

While wandering around our lovely city the other day, I stumbled upon a new outdoor international food market. It was awesome! I mean, the Swedish Christmas markets are beautiful and nice but after 11 Christmases they aren't so special any more. Plus, Sweden's contribution to world cuisine isn't so spectacular so to see something new like this in our city, with food from all over the world was very unexpected and also very exciting. The most wonderful aspect of the whole market is the authentic Thuringer German bratwurst, cooked on an outdoor grill. They are simply, delicious. I'm not a big fan of Swedish hot dogs or sausages. They lack a certain something. But the Germans...they know how to make a sausage. And the Thuringer white brat is one of my favorites. I've been back there 3 times in the past week. I have actually walked out of my way home from somewhere so I could stop and get a brat! And each time it comes piping hot wrapped in delicious crusty bread, smothered in strong mustard. YUM. Other treats that have delighted include French bread, Italian pastries (seriously good) and olives from Iran that are quite frankly the most delcious olives I have ever tasted. OK, so that country's government has some issues, but they know how to grow olives and the vendor gave me a discount yesterday since I've also been to his booth numerous times throughout the past week as well! Part of what charms me about this international gathering of tasty treats is that it is new and different and we didn't know it was coming and discovering that is it a mere 10 minute walk from our house has been such a delightful treat this Christmas. Unexpected pleasures are real gifts in the midst of the routine of life. When something delightfully unexpected happens, it brings great joy into our lives. We feel surprised and awakened, almost refreshed because of the newness of the encounter.
Are we still surprised with unspeakable joy at the unexpected nature of God coming to earth as tiny little baby to grow to be the Savior of all? Do we still experience the wonder and sacrifice that Christ's birth is for us? God did something totally unexpected to be sure that He got our attention. Does He still have your attention? In what ways can you prepare yourself to expect the unexpected from God? Do you have a sense that God is still active and alive, hovering around your life, waiting to surprise you with hope and joy? Anticipate it. Expect it. Because God loves to get our attention by doing something amazing amidst the ordinary.