Minute Meditations

God’s Greatest Surprise

I cannot pretend to understand God, but this is what I see: People who have moved from one seeming success to another seldom understand success at all, except a very limited version of their own. People who fail to do something right, by even their own definition of right, are those who often break through to enlightenment and compassion. It is still a mystery to me, and will still be a mystery for you, even if you read this book to the end. The big difference—and it is big—is that you will hopefully be able to accept and even revel in this cosmic economy of grace. It is God’s greatest surprise and God’s constant disguise, but you only know it to be true by going through it and coming out the other side yourself.

—from the book Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps
by Richard Rohr

Breathing Under Water by Richard Rohr


2 thoughts on “God’s Greatest Surprise”

  1. It’s no big secret that people oftentimes learn from their mistakes. At least I hope they learn from their mistakes. To not learn from one’s mistakes is not very smart.

    I also think there is nothing wrong with succeeding. It’s been said that success breeds success. Jack Welch, the former CEO of GE, once said “The key to success is authenticity.” If one is not themselves, it’s unlikely they will succeed in the truest sense of the term. Others may see you as successful, but you yourself will feel like a phony. If one is not able to live to their fullest potential, that’s ok, as long as one has tried. We all have our limitations. Sometimes, bad things happen to good people. That’s life. I think being challenged is something that many successful people enjoy. It makes them try harder in their endeavor. If one is not challenged, how can a person grow? The wind makes trees put their roots down deeper and also makes the trees stronger. Many an indoor potted plant doesn’t fare well outdoors for that very reason.

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