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Treasure the Unexpected

Some of the best memories of life happen when you least expect them. Last weekend I was in Edmonton. Pam and I spoke at a large conference where we saw more than our share of transformation in a short period of time. Three couples said to us, “We were separated when we came here. If this didn’t work, we weren’t too sure what we were going to do. We have had some kind of a breakthrough and we have found our motivation again.”
Another couple told me, “We realize we haven’t been doing what will really help us. We are a blended family and we have resorted to blaming each other. We are going to start by reading one of your books together and practicing new skills.”
Those were the things I kind of expected to hear. We had prayed for this kind of movement in peoples’ lives and, amazingly, that kind of thing happens regularly at marriage conferences. What I didn’t expect was the inspiration that came from the ride to the airport.
The man who drove the SUV appeared to be an ordinary volunteer. There was nothing striking about his appearance and he was humbly serving as a driver for the conference. As we headed out, we discovered Paul is a member of a quartet called The Crew Guys. He has a natural ear for music and is somewhat of an expert at speaking in dialects. In a short ride, he sang an a capella version of Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus in perfect pitch and then spoke to us in dialects from Ireland, Newfoundland, England and a Southern California beach community. We laughed, applauded and marveled at a gifted man who was content to be a humble servant for the weekend. You can check them out singing the Star Spangled Banner. (Paul is the one with facial hair.)
Matthew 21 started with one of the greatest unexpected treasures in history. It was the beginning of the Passover week and people were flocking to Jerusalem to celebrate the holiday. They had done this year after year and they knew how the routine worked. They made their plans and set their expectations for the week. Then Jesus “sent two disciples, ‘Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me.’ (v. 1-2) ‘They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, ‘Who is this?’ The crowds answered, ‘This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.’” (v. 7-11)
The highlight of their day was the unexpected entrance of the Messiah. As I go through my week, I am going to keep my eyes open for the unexpected treasures!

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