Last year we had one of those 'big birthdays'. It was something to celebrate and we decided on a special holiday. I've always been a fan of the comedian Tim Vine, and one of his more famous one liners come to mind...
"I've just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. I'll tell you what, never again."
After much consideration, we got all excited about a trip to South Africa to see the wildlife and hopefully some good weather. A carefully planned journey was made to make the most of the two weeks travelling from Cape Town and ending up near Port Elizabeth on a big game reserve. It was truly a fantastic and memorable time.
At the start of the holiday we stayed in a hotel at Camps Bay, near Cape Town. After unpacking, I sat on the balcony in the sunshine looking out to sea, and decided to try out the new binoculars. I noticed some bits of white water on an otherwise flat calm sea. Thinking that it was some water on rocks, I took a closer look. To my surprise, I saw some whales! It was a fantastic thing to see and not at all what I was expecting. We were hoping to see them on the holiday at some point but not there and not then. It was a real surprise.
We have a God of surprises. The Bible is full of stories of God doing things and turning up in places that you wouldn't expect. When I look back at different things that have happened in my life, I can see God at work, influencing me, directing me, or helping the situation along with his purpose and desire. Lots of people can tell of stories like this, too.
The trick is learning to look and investigate a bit closer. So give it a go. Get looking and be open to the Holy Spirit to give you a surprise about what God is doing and saying to you today.
You don't have to travel to a foreign country to find him. Funny thing is that a whale has been spotted this week in St Ives bay, which we can see from our window. The whale was right there without us realising it. Now there's something about God, too!