News outlets have been speculating about the October surprise for weeks now. I suppose that traditionally politicians and parties save up their most damning information against their opponents for the weeks before an election in order to sway the vote in their favor. Releasing this too soon and people will forget. Release it too late and many will have already made up their minds or voted early. Thus, the October surprise.
So I waited. But unless it happens soon I don’t think we’ll have such an October surprise this year from any side. Candidates spending millions to create ads criticizing their opponents without regard to facts? No surprise. Billionaires pouring millions into races in states in which they have no vested interest other than pushing their personal agendas and causes? No surprise. Suppression of news by cable and social media providers? No surprise. Time-released attacks on influential individuals? No surprise.
Yet I was surprised in other ways this October. On my way home one day I decided to take a shortcut through the neighborhood just down the street from mine. I turned the corner to be overcome by sunlight illuminating the most beautiful row of red maples I’d ever seen. So spectacular was this October afternoon sight that I coerced my husband into going back with me a few days later so I could get a photo before the leaves fell. Still a wow.
Watering my small front gardens one morning, my watering pot and my gaze both pointing down, I saw a bit of pink out of the corner of my eye. Looking more closely I realized it was a rosebud. Then I saw more rosebuds. It was October, yet my rose bush was optimistically planning to bloom again—and within a week it did! What a lovely surprise.
My spirit was surprised this month too. My pastor recommended a book by author Brant Hansen titled Unoffendable. So strongly did he recommend it that he developed a whole sermon series based on it. Hmmph, I thought. What if I want to be offended? After all, there are so many things in the world right now that I find offensive! Don’t I deserve to be offended? To be hurt and angry even? Hmmph. Then I read the book. Chapter by chapter I felt a shift in my spirit. A shift from blame to forgiveness, from discouragement to hope, from anxiety to peace, from anger to love. I hope this October surprise outlives the month.
And so we trust. We pray. We vote. Will we be surprised in bad ways as well as good? No doubt. But through it all we lean on the One who is never surprised by anything. You remember singing about Him, don’t you? He has the whole world in His hands.
Beverly K. Jennings says
Love this one, Nancy!
Thanks, Bev. Always good to hear from you.
Kathy Fitz says
Well said! Our Creator has this whole world in His sites!!
And how grateful we are. Thanks, Kathy!
Bright hope, Nancy! Your words always bring it home! Even to Alabama!!🙏
Thanks, Kay. I would say I’m sorry about that Tennessee vs. Alabama game but then you’d know I didn’t mean it. 15-1 is still a pretty good record for you. 🙂
This blog brought back the beautiful trees along Lexington, across from Rampart HS! Thanks for the walk down memory lane!
They were pretty this year too Sue but a few of them have dead limbs that need to be trimmed. Hopefully the city will get to it eventually. Happy fall!
Peggy Lovelace Ellis says
This post is lengthy, but I believe you will find it interesting in this election season.
You may be more aware than I am of this type of thing happening on facebook. The following is the first details I’ve had from someone I know and trust. Donn Taylor is a friend in Texas I met through my writers’ conference. He is a conservative Christian and diligent about stating his opinions. This is his experience:
“You may be interested that we think Facebook is disabling pages of a number of Christians and conservatives in this last month before the November elections. They changed my format, took away my messaging capability, and took away my 2.6K “friends.” My news feed is filled by posts from people I never heard of. It’s a weird feeling to be suddenly nonexistent.”
Sounds like facebook has gotten too big for its britches as my dad would say!
Totally agree, Peggy. I thought they’d been called to task on such shenanigans after the 2020 election. I guess they don’t really care.
Well said. 😘
Alice Scott-Ferguson says
Nailed it…totally and completely!!!
Thank you, friend. High compliment coming from you!! Hugs.
Eileen Somers says
Very good article to remind me to trust in The Lord and Pray for all the deceivers, and that doesn’t mean just Satan but his vast number of supporters.
Look to the beauty of His Creation to be reminded He is in control even when it seems like everything is out of control. Thank you, Autumn leaves for reminding me along with Nancy!
We sure see glimpses of His glory this time of year! Thanks, Eileen!
Dana Murphree says
I just love you! I love all that Oct brings with the exception of TV adds. I read Unoffendable a couple years ago but found myself reminded that somehow, I had slipped back into bad behavior of being offendable. I love that we are having a series on it now. A much-needed reminder for this girl!
Dana, that’s why I wrote I hope the book’s effect on me lasts beyond October! I can see how easy it would be to lose the shift I described. Thanks for the warning!
Patricia Beatty says
I absolutely loved this! So many surprises out there for us if we pay attention. Thanks for this beautiful reminder, Nancy.
For sure! Hope you are doing well. Hugs.
Linda M. Crawford says
Thank you, Nancy, for your beautiful words. My whole year, not just October, has been full of surprises. My faith in my Lord and Savior has gotten me through the good and not so good surprises. I have learned through personal experience that He is the answer. You must relinquish your urge to control, and lay it all in His hands. The best E. TN October surprise has been the most beautiful colors in years!