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Totally Unexpected

The Guideposts editor-in-chief shares why patience is key in prayer.

It arrived today. A nice summer shirt. Out of nowhere. Totally unexpected. Okay, not quite.

If you are reading this I assume you’re a regular user of the web, and that like me you do a lot of buying online. Online shopping is the perfect consumer solution for a congenitally impatient and harried person such as myself…no crowds, no checkout lines, no tables of picked over items, no taking a number to get a dressing room and then parading yourself in front of a bunch of strangers, no pushy sales “associates” trying to upsell you every time you open your mouth. Yes, you have to delay your gratification a little bit, but with express shipping you get your items pretty fast.

Except for this shirt.

I must have ordered it when I picked out some stuff last spring. I vaguely remember something I wanted being on back order, which is usually a deal killer for me. I’m shocked I didn’t delete it. It must have slipped through. Then today the shirt showed up. “I remember you,” I said, taking it out of its shipping bag.

I was very glad to see the shirt. It was a kind of a delayed instant gratification moment—a long time coming but also a surprise (that’s me wearing the shirt). I was also reminded of the things I pray for, my impatience with a timing that isn’t my own. I don’t want back-ordered answers to prayers. I want express shipping. Yet time and again through my life, prayers that I have nearly forgotten about have been answered in ways wondrous and unforeseeable.

I have learned patience in what I ask, in the sharing of my desires. And what I have learned most is that the more patient I am, the more I am able to recognize an answer to prayer.

Even in something as inconsequential as a mail-order shirt, totally unexpected.

P.S. Speaking of prayers (and patience—watch the video of me & Millie), it is really cool to see all the pet pictures and prayers on the new pet prayer page. You’ve got to check it out. Remember, if you have a prayer request for your pet—or an update—go to this entry form and let us know. Don’t forget to submit a picture.

Edward Grinnan is Editor-in-Chief and Vice President of GUIDEPOSTS Publications.

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