I am traveling in Hong Kong today. Given that I am rarely here, when I am, it is a process of begging and asking very nicely in order for me to get access to a phone. On this trip, clearly due to the random chance, lucky draw, and good but unpredictable fortune, I was given access to the offices of two very important and well liked senior executives. The result was incredible! When I called, people answered. When they answered, they were bright, full of energy, and happy. When they discovered that it was Bill, instead of the person that the telephone told them was calling, there was a trace of disappointment, casual question of wonder, and an attempt at a quick recovery, usually in the form of embarrassed laughter.
My initial reaction was, candidly, one of wonder and a bit of frustration. I think I am a likable guy. I hope that I am fun. I believe that I am easy to talk to. Then I realized that it had little to do with me! It was a statement of individuals responding to what they thought was about to unfold. Whatever I represented, it was new, different, and unexpected. No matter what happened next, it would be different from the receiver's anticipation. The good news is my case is that in each case I sensed a willingness to roll and see what might happen. At the end of our call, we consistently found ourselves laughing at the encounter.
I wonder how often everyone anticipates the outcome when something happens. Even when “the next day a meeting was called in Jerusalem. The rulers, religious leaders, religion scholars, Annas the Chief Priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander-everybody who was anybody was there.” (Acts 4.5) There were those that thought good things were going to happen, after all they knew these were the players.
Life rarely goes to preconceived plans. Life is always found in the moment at hand, not in the script. Life is not predetermined path. God gives you and I freedom today and invites us to live.
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