Yesterday I bumped into an old friend in a cozy coffee shop downtown Guelph. She's a therapist. I'm a church coach. So we talked about work and discovered that we share some of the same struggles. One of those is keeping ourselves vigilant and accepting of surprises — those tiny twitches, sideways glances, or unexpected comments that almost always come up.

We both agreed that a major challenge is keeping our own "stuff" out of it. I call it emptying myself of my self.

One of my problems is that I find myself agenda focused and often am thinking of the "next" thing.

I think this is important because often the surprise is the signal that leads to the path of larger discovery.

Any experiences or thoughts about keeping ourselves vigilant and accepting?

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Emptying ourselves ~ its really what we do when we come to Christ.  And its the manner in which we do ministry, as we recognize that its not what we bring, but its what God can do.  I believe this is a constant battle, to not be driven by our own agenda.   The challenge is to be open to the 'surprise' of God, and also to help others to be open to this as well.  It's about listening to God, in the midst of the busy agenda.

Especially for men, it's helpful to be aware of our "ego," it's usually fragile and it's tempting to protect it by all means!