When I was young, I never expected to reach Minneapolis. The name of the town didn't even cross my mind. I was born Canadian, happily part of the true north strong and free. When we thought of travel, it was, "Europe, sure. Our neighbour to the south, probably not."
My first year of marriage was also my first living in the USA. The cultural shock was unexpected, and inoculated me against some of the fondest values of my adopted country. Fast food, take it or leave it. Shopping in the mall, don't enjoy it. Signing petitions, not interested. Voting every fall for something or other, gives me a headache to see all the money, time, and energy wasted on campaigning that could be spent on solutions.
That said, there are a lot of great things about living down here. People are individualists, and expect to be allowed to do quirky things. Start-ups are common, and failures are just learning experiences. Trends spring up and die easily: seemingly anything new goes with the attitude of "this one might be my lucky ticket." The next great invention will revolutionize life as we know it. Any occasion deserves a party. There are a lot of choices.
God is full of surprises for his children. Our being part of the Society of Pentecostal Scholars is one of his unexpected gifts to us. We're spending part of a week in Minnesota with a great group of people from the USA and home. These scholars are hunting for answers and discussing important questions. Some of them have become good friends, too. You never know where the journey will take you. What a surprise to be awake at midnight in Minneapolis.
*For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chronicles 16:9a NLT
*Many nations will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." Micah 4:2 NIV
*(Jesus) "For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them." Matthew 18:20 NEV