I have been surprised

I’ve been surprised by lots of things lately. 

I’ve been surprised that I miss people so much, but also that I’ve adapted so quickly to not seeing people.  I don’t worry about not being included or missing out, since no one can really do anything.  I’m surprised that I really can connect on the phone, and I don’t hate it as much as I thought. 

I’m surprised that I was so spooked about the market crashing and my financial future;  I thought I trusted God more in that area. 

I’m surprised that Lynne and I have had as little tension as I thought we might have, and by the fun of our small daily conversations.  Having more free space in my life makes me a little more patient, so I’m surprised when I’m reminded by my children and other friends who have less space and less help and less patience.  I’m surprised how much I enjoy knowing more details of my kid’s lives and feeling more connected with them.

I always told myself that I don’t spend more time praying because I’m so busy, so it surprises me to discover that, despite my newly freed up schedule, I’m not spending any more time in prayer than I usually do.  I’m surprised I’m not reading more, because I tell myself I like to read and have collected dozens of books that I promised myself I would read when I had time, but haven’t.

I’ve been surprised that I actually enjoy painting the house now that I have time, especially the sense of accomplishment and the “clean-ness” that it brings  (and I like that Lynne appreciates it).  I’m surprised by how much I walk and have enjoyed actually “seeing” the beauty of God’s nature.  The fact that it’s sunny and the temperature is perfect helps immensely.

I’m surprised at how important the little, but consistent, aspects of daily life have become: Starbucks (now a drive-thru) in the morning and wine time on the patio in the late afternoon/early evening.

I’ve been surprised that Americans have, by and large, cooperated and submitted to our government, even when it was a major inconvenience and even if we don’t know anyone who has the coronoavirus.  I’ve been surprised that Republicans and Democrats have worked together surprisingly well when the issue of survival is on the table.  I’ve been surprised that a little virus could bring the whole world to a halt!

But I’ve decided that I actually like being surprised.  I think this whole thing has “stopped” me in some very good ways.  I am more aware of both the larger world and also of the many smaller, but significant, components of my personal world.  I’ve just been surprised by a lot of things. 

What about you?


Palmer Trice is an ordained Presbyterian minister.  He is married to Lynne, has three children and has been in Charlotte since 1979. In his spare time, Palmer enjoys golf, tennis, walking and reading.

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