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coinsOver the weekend I attended a conference at a local Vineyard church featuring Phil Strout, the National Director of Vineyard USA. On Friday night Phil talked about expectation—and how we should expect God to do big things. Every day.

As Phil talked, I remembered a time from my childhood when I was at King’s Island (an amusement park in southwestern Ohio). I was probably six years old, so I should have been thrilled to be at the park. But instead of enjoying the rides, games, cotton candy, prizes, or any of the other fixtures kids typically love, I became fixated on something else: money! I realized that there were coins to be found all over the park. Beneath concession windows, in line for rides, under trash cans, and certainly in all the fountains (except my mom wouldn’t let me retrieve those). Soon enough I had a singular purpose for the rest of my day: to find as many coins as I could!

And I was successful! I don’t know exactly how much money I found, but it was close to 30 coins. Mostly pennies, but still. An impressive haul.

In the 25 years since that day, I have never again found so many coins on any given day. Sure, I still pick up coins occasionally. I found two $1 bills in a parking lot recently. And one time I found a $20 bill—my most productive discovery to date. But I have never retrieved as many coins as I did that day. You know why?

Because I’ve never again been so devoted to searching.

Now, finding loose change is no longer as high of a priority for me. I’m not above stopping to pick up a coin when I see one, mind you, but I don’t go out of my way to spot them. If I did, I know that I would find more coins than I do.  But that’s not the point here. The point is that our expectations make a difference. When we expect to find something, we will look for it. And by looking for it, we’re going to find more of “it” than we would have if we weren’t looking. Obvious, right?

And that’s why Phil’s talk resonated with me. I don’t know why I made this connection (I’ll give God credit for it), but I realized that I should expect to see the things God is doing just like I expected to find those coins at the amusement park. And I should be excited about it. I should be eager to see what else God is doing. If I want to experience more of what God is doing, I just need to open my eyes. And keep looking.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll find another $20 bill while I’m at it…

 

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