Be Utterly Amazed

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading


God’s Surprises

Looking at life with an expectant perspective, through a lens of excitement and anticipation of God’s goodness, can fill every day with wonder.

As a journalism major and student reporter at the University of Southern California, I had written about the football team for three years. At the time, USC was on an unparalleled trajectory in college football history. Their fans routinely packed the ninety-two-thousand-seat Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum as coach Pete Carroll spearheaded an unmatched run that made USC football the zenith of college football. 

In the second semester of my senior year, I wanted a unique first-person angle for a story, so I secretly participated in walk-on tryouts. Two mornings later, I was so sore I could hardly get out of bed. No story was worth that much wear and tear on my body, and I made a mental note not to put myself through something like that again, even if it was for the article of a lifetime. 

When my phone woke me from a blissful sleep, I could not imagine who would be calling me so early in the morning. I mumbled a groggy “What’s up?” and a woman’s voice, way too cheery for that time in the morning, said, “Ben! Did you try out for the football team?” 

Now I was really confused. I hadn’t told anyone that I was participating in the tryouts to write a story except for a few friends and the head coach. I figured that one of my friends had spilled the beans, and I was a bit embarrassed. I sheepishly replied, “Yeah, who told you?” 

“Well, you made it!” she said enthusiastically. 

I was jolted wide awake. “What are you talking about?” 

Without missing a beat, she said, “Your name is on the list,” emphasizing each word. 

I weighed a whopping one hundred sixty-five pounds and I hadn’t played football since I was ten years old, making this scenario utterly ridiculous—or more like impossible. There was just no way this could be true. 

But we just never know what God has planned for us. It may be something completely unexpected, far more amazing than you could ever hope or dream. Will you join me in embracing the adventure God promises when we live by faith? 

Looking back, when has God surprised you with a big change in your life’s plans?