Some days are like that aren’t they? You know, full of surprises? I’ve actually had two lovely surprises this morning which I will share with you soon, but let me ask you a question first: Is delighting in life’s surprises a reflection of a child-like spirit? Or is it something else like naivety or foolishness?
I choose to believe it is the former so I was delighted this morning over a surprise I received rather early in the morning. My husband told me around 4.30 am that he was unable to sleep and had heard on the radio that white smoke was coming out of the chimney at the Vatican. It seemed we had a Pope but no details were announced as yet.
I was excited because a lot of us were hoping for a change: an African Pope or perhaps a Latin American one, so I waited with bated breath. The announcement came through (in Latin) within 30 minutes and we tuned our radio to listen. When the name was announced, the Australian correspondent in Rome said “Oh, they have voted for an Italian! We have gone back to Italy for our Pope. He is the Archbishop of Genoa in Italy.”
The correspondent was highly excited but I felt no joy. For how many hundreds of years had the Italians had the upper hand in the papal stakes? I felt it was a backward move. I expressed my disappointment to Geoff, turned over and went to sleep shaking my head in dismay.
All my prayers for a Pope with a difference had not been answered! I have to confess I was NOT gracious folks but I determined I would try to be grateful.
However … things were about to change and I did not know it. Within an hour (6am) the Pope himself appeared on the balcony and we had also gone to a different radio station. The new correspondent was saying how wonderful it was that a Latin American Pope had been elected.
Eh? Complete silence from us … we were stunned.
A Latin American Pope from Argentina?
What? Had we been dreaming when we heard it was an Italian Pope?
No, not at all. The name sounds Italian (he has some Italian in his background) and who amongst the laity understands Latin anyway? It would appear the first correspondent had made a mistake and we had turned off the radio and never heard the correction.
But what a grand mistake it was! As the realisation of this hit me, I came alive, pondering the enormity of this to myself, “A Latin American Pope? … really!?” I had gone from total disappointment to absolute surprise and delight within a matter of an hour. Wow! Everything I had hoped and prayed for, had come to pass and I thanked God for giving us such a man, one who rides the bus to work and cooks his own meals in a modest apartment.
I was overcome with joy! And there you have it folks. Wasn’t it better to get the surprise of my life on the second hearing than to have been given the correct name in the first place. I smiled to myself at how God works in mysterious ways. I have been unable to get the smile off my face ever since. (Read the biography of Pope Francis here: www.xt3.com/blog/Jorge Mario Bergoglio)
Surprises are wonderful and so I did some research on the subject and read this lovely piece online entitled “Life’s Surprises” which I found refreshingly wonderful:
Much of the essence of beauty is in the way it surprises you. Life is continually renewed and made fresh precisely because you do not know when the next gust of wind will arrive.
Open yourself to life’s surprises. Though a few will bring pain, others will bring joys you never knew you were missing.
You are never too old to find delight in something new and unexpected. And with each dawning day a fresh supply arrives. — Ralph Marston greatday.com/motivate/
Still fresh from my surprise over the Argentinian Pope, I then I opened my email to discover that a Japanese website japaninfoswap.com/2013-cherry-blossom-viewing-spots-in-tokyo was recommending my blog as extra reading (Cherry-Blossoms-to-Cheer-You) and had shared my link on their beautiful website today. Now, that stirred up my delight even more!
It was unexpected; not sort after … but with the dawning of the day another fresh supply of delight had arrived. The second fresh new gust of wind had just blown in. Perhaps not as huge as the first surprise, but equally as lovely and it cemented the joy I was already feeling.
It is nice dear friends, when something of joy comes along which balances the days when things do not go as planned and we have to plough on regardless. But today was not one of those days; it was a day full of surprises and delight.
Congratulation Pope Francis from Argentina!