Last month I had the opportunity to surprise my 11-year-old daughter. It was one of those fun surprises where the plan was put in place several weeks before without any knowledge on her part.
TobyMac, Brandon Heath, Mandisa, Matt Maher and others were in town for a concert at the Xcel Center in St. Paul. She had nearly memorized the TobyMac CD and had become a big fan of his music, not to mention loving some of the other artists as well.
So here we were on a Friday evening, Valentine’s Day, at 5:10 p.m. She had just come up the stairs, and I asked her if she wanted to go for a ride, maybe stop at a coffee shop and hang out. She agreed. As we got in the car and started to drive toward downtown St. Paul, she began to talk. I’m not even sure what we talked about now, but I remember her being relaxed, eager to see where the night would take us.
As we got closer to downtown St. Paul, the traffic began to get heavier and the streets more crowded. Yet she just sat patiently in the car, still trusting in our journey and anticipating what we would do.
We arrived at a parking ramp and as we were entering it, I said to her: “Let’s do something different tonight. What do you think?”
She replied in the affirmative, and we continued along with our conversation.
We parked the car and began to walk the several blocks—not to mention the many flights of stairs up from the parking ramp—to the Xcel Center.
I thought for sure at this point she would wonder where we were going. Maybe ask me what I had in mind or if we were getting close to our destination. Nope. She was still happily engaged in our conversation.
Even the Jumbotron on Kellogg Boulevard that announced—visually and audibly—that TobyMac was in concert tonight didn’t raise suspicion.
We stepped inside the doors of the arena, and she still was engaged in our conversation and hadn’t questioned my plans, my intent, my ideas for the night. I just knew that she trusted me.
As we stood inside the doors of the arena waiting for the gates to open, I looked at her and said, “We’re going to see TobyMac tonight!” The surprise on her face was exactly the emotion I was anticipating when I planned this event several weeks before. She was completely stunned and so excited that she actually jumped in the air and hugged me.
But that wasn’t the end of the surprise. After she gathered herself a bit and calmed down, she looked at me and said, “Maybe we’ll see my best friend here. She has tickets to the concert as well.”
I said we would more than likely see her best friend at the concert, since we were sitting next to her.
Again, the excitement on her face was exactly what I hoped it would be.
As I was talking with my wife last week, she pointed out to me the similarities of this episode with how we should follow Christ in our lives (her insight is one of the reasons I married her).
My daughter was trusting, accepting of whatever was planned and secure in what was ahead of her. She didn’t question where we were going; she didn’t ask if we were there yet; nor did she doubt that our night would be fun and even exciting.
She just trusted.
I wonder what would happen if we approached our relationship with Christ in the same way, with the same amount of trust, confidence and ease. I have to admit, I’m the person who likes everything planned out and arranged before I even take that first step. To me, the unknown is often the fear zone.
But isn’t Christ more loving, caring and more concerned about our future than any friend, parent or circumstance? If my 11-year-old can trust me without question, how can I not submit that same trust to the one who created me in the womb?
So the next time God has you on a journey—as we all are right now—try to relax, engage in conversation with Him and eagerly anticipate where you will arrive. You will not only be surprised, but you will also draw closer to the one who knows you better than anyone else.
Scott Noble is the editor for the Twin Cities edition of Refreshed magazine. He was also the editor of the Minnesota Christian Examiner since 2009. Noble has more than a decade of experience as a writer, editor and communications director.