‘God of Surprises’

Dear Friends,

Do you ever wake up thinking of a friend you’ve not seen for a while? That’s what happened to me this morning. His name is Inderpal Chopra Singh, he lives in Colorado Springs. We first met in Edinburgh when he was studying computer science, and I was working at the Edinburgh University Sport Centre. After Inder returned to North India, I had the opportunity to visit him on my return home from seeing family in New Zealand. That was quite a trip. My cousins in New Zealand were dairy farmers and it was good to meet another part of the family and to experience the indigenous Māori culture. After this trip, I returned home exhausted from my travels with many memories to last a lifetime. However, on hearing he had moved to Colorado Springs and got married, I had to visit him again.

Every journey has highlights and this one was no less spectacular. We went to see a college American football game between the US Air Force Academy and Rice University on a scorching spring day in March. On one evening, we went to a French restaurant called ‘Chez Pierre’. It was essential to eat there because its founder also had a restaurant in Falkirk where I lived at the time. But even more memorable was a concert performed by the Flying Wranglers. What made the experience so special was that we did not expect them to be a gospel band. The event was billed as a Campfire Experience; a simple meal of beans and other campfire fayre, and the music was a wonderful surprise.

I believe it was Francis Bacon who said, “Travel broadens the mind”. But we must be open-minded and humble to receive the wisdom and enlightenment that other cultures and travelling experiences offer.

We did not know what to expect from our campfire evening, but it was the element of surprise that made it the best memory of all.

Gerard Hughes wrote a book called ‘God of Surprises’ and when we open hearts and minds to God, we will find our potential to be transformed in exciting and challenging ways. Perhaps this will be a book for our Book Group’s future attention one day.

Pastor Cliff