One of my favorite memories from my children's childhood occurred when my wife and I surprised them with a trip to DisneyWorld in Florida.
My wife was attending her annual convention, so the kids and I dropped her off at the airport. The kids naturally assumed that they would not see her for a week or so; after all, this trip happened every year, and a week was usually how long Mom would be gone.
What they didn't know was that I had arranged to take a Friday off from school, and I had also arranged for the kids to do so too; this was not hard since I worked at their school. But Jeanne and I decided to surprise them both.
So a few days passed with Dad being "Mr. Mom" and the kids doing just fine. But all of us missed Mom. So on Friday morning, I got up early, packed their suitcases, and woke them up. I told them we were NOT going to school, but rather...we were going on a trip. A long trip.
They didn't believe me! It took every ounce of resistance I had not to tell them WHY we weren't going to school. But finally they packed a few things in their backpacks and we all headed to the airport.
Once we got there, it didn't take them long to figure it out. After all, as soon as we walked up to our gate and they read the destination as "Orlando" they both began screaming and dancing for joy.
We met my wife at the Orlando airport, and all four of us proceeded to have a wonderful three-day weekend.
The reason this story sticks with me is that I often compare it to some of the "surprises" that the Lord has had for me. He often won't tell me where I'm going either, but when I get there and I look back at all that happened, I feel like shouting and dancing for joy - just like my kids did at the airport.
It also makes me feel bad sometimes as I consider some questions: Why can't we just trust the Lord and let go of our need for control? Why can't we just "get ready" for each day and see where He will lead us? Why must we know everything in advance so that we are totally prepared?
After all, He told us, "I am with you always, even unto the end of the age." (Matthew 28: 20) That means the Lord will not leave us completely to our own devices and our own cleverness...even if we insist upon it.
And I think that when we just cooperate and head out, and THEN we see the surprises He has in store for us - wonderful surprises worthy of screaming and dancing for joy - I also think it must be fun to see us at those moments.
I'll bet it's sort of like the view I had of my two beloved children that day in the airport.
Oh be joyful!