When I collect my mail, I sort it into the "important" pile and the "probably junk" pile. The important stuff gets my attention, while the junk gathers dust until I have time to sort through it, shred it, and trash it.
I've been waiting for a letter from my bank -- I recently asked for a new ATM/Check card. The card was sent a few weeks ago. I was supposed to receive a separate mailing a week or two later with instructions to activate it. So I've been waiting for that second letter...
Thursday night, I decided to sort through my out-of-control junk pile. Guess what? That activation letter I've been waiting for was in the pile! The envelope didn't have my bank's logo or address on it. There was nothing to indicate that the letter was important. In short: it wasn't what I was expecting, so I missed it.
Last night in my small group, we discussed a few more chapters from the Lifestories book. I'm really enjoying this study.
One of the questions asked if we could remember a time when God had done something miraculous in our lives and if we were willing to share it. Immediately, I started thinking about things like instantaneous healings--something overwhelmingly and undeniably supernatural.
That wasn't what everyone else was thinking about. Some shared about the birth of their children. Others talked about the salvation of a friend or relative. Someone else talked about how God was working in their lives through a slow but steady recovery from a medical problem.
It's amazing to me how different the discussion would have been if this was a Pentecostal small group. Same materials -- different conclusions.
If I were reading this book on my own, I might have never considered miracles that didn't fit my narrow definition, which is admittedly a hold over from my Pentecostal days. It made me look at the whole chapter differently. I wonder how many "miracles" I've overlooked because they didn't come in the package that I was expecting.