“I see you and I want to play.” That is what this face behind our front porch sofa tells me. It is our cat Artie hiding behind the cushions waiting for me to play with him. He plunged his paw through the gap many times agging me on until I engaged. We had fun playing in the pillows and his wide black eyes made me giggle like a child. His energy surprised me and brought joy to my evening. 

Not everyone likes to be surprised. There are some people who do not like to be surprised in anything. They plan everything out even the gifts they are given. They schedule, they research, they know just what they want and that is what they expect. They do not like surprises because they know what they want, and not knowing what they will get is no fun. Not liking surprises may be more of a control thing than anything else. The challenge with always being in control is that you have all the answers, you know best, and you potentially miss being enlightened by what someone else can imagine. You get what you want but that does not mean you get what you need. You are limited by yourself, your own ideas, your own thoughts. 

There are those who love a good surprise. They feel joy and exhilaration in seeing what other people can bring to the table. They thrill at finding new things and seeing what might be around the corner. They are willing to take the unexpected in stride and learn how they can incorporate what someone else haas thought of into their own world. They leave things open ended and are invogorated by the unexpected. They might not always get what they want, so they will be excited about what they do receive. 

So which one are you? And how has your preference for surprises impacted your world, and those around you? Do those who know and love you understand your preference around surprise? What about those you work with or serve with? And if they do know your dread or delight with surprise, how does it impact the group? How does it impact their ability to be themselves? Are your preferences in contrast to what they like? Does their paw from behind the cushion bring you delight or freak you out? 

Life is full of surprises, none of us can be in control of everything. There are only two things we can really control – our actions and our attitude. Everything else is up for grabs. So next time you have the opportunity to be surprised, take it…let go and see what you might experience. Sometimes the things we do not know and control are the best part of our day. Don’t believe me? Then try controlling a happy kitty on a summer night who only wants to play…the surprise of their life and exuberance can change your world if only for a few moments.