I stand before you, a changed man.
The life I once lived, I live no more;
I am a man changed.
Once, I thought I knew,
so much more, I thought,
than what was merely true.
Once, I fancied myself to be wise
in worldly ways,
imagined I was clever,
capable of carving out
my own way
in an unfriendly world.
Once, I believed that I knew
all that was needed
to be a great success in the world
I had set out to conquer.
My wisdom was revealed
to be merely worldly ignorance,
a house built on sand
built of sticks and straw,
and being built on sand,
it could not stand
but swiftly collapsed
during the first strong winds.
I was left seated
in the rubble of my life,
shaken to the core,
having lost faith in myself as champion,
as shepherd of my soul; and more.
I could not summon the strength
to press on.
I testify today to undergoing
a radical reformation at the Lord's hand,
one challenging all my assumptions
about who I was,
or what I had really accomplished
within my empty life.
I was compelled to see how little
I had achieved by my own hand.
I was disquieted deeply
by those whom I had caused sadness,
and brought distress and pain.
I could see that most
of what I considered my successes
had been claimed at the expense
of so many others.
And then I WAS changed,
with numbing and deliberate speed,
into a new person,
one distinct from my former self,
yet, one aware of all my failings
and false narratives,
but also, aware
that a new opportunity had come to me
to recover wasted years and days,
to restart my life all over, again.
My life IS changed! It IS new!
All doubts about my purpose in life
have been erased,
my purpose is aligned with
the will of God,
the will of Him who is able,
of Him who enables me to labor
in His fields, to accomplish that
which, in my other life,
I could not even see.
I have been inhabited by the Holy Spirit
since my surrender
to His transforming power,
since I accepted
and embraced His yoke
upon my shoulders.
All is right.
All is well.
This is the way I know I should go.
And now that I know,
it is with Him
Surprise, Sorpresa, Wundern, Quelle Surprise. (English, Spanish and Italian,
Whatever the language,
the word, Surprise,
carries a special meaning,
it is a special word
with the power to change anything,
to change everything
to create a new circumstance
to create a new paradigm
to give voice and life
to a real change
that is at once startling
and at the same time
Can you see the hand of God?
Can you hear a prayer being answered?
Do you recognize a need being met?
Is it your need that is being attended to?
For whom is the Surprise intended?
Is it for you?
Is it for one for whom you pray?
Surprise! It may be for all of these.
It may be totally unexpected.
Does it affect you deeply?
Then think hard upon it
until you see the hand if God within it,
until you receive the surprise
When God is recognized for the gift
He gives to you, or to one you pray for,
or care about;
then be thankful.
Be joyful in the thanks you give.
Tell others of the gift which you receive,
gifts which God has shared with you,
Then, testify. Tell the story,
how God is good, and you know,
all over again, from this surprise,
how good a God He is.
And when you do this, you will see.
A poem by Jon Elvrum, 1/7/2020