If your life is anything like mine, it’s pretty hectic at times and requires planning to accomplish all the things that are needful. I have a calendar that reminds me of appointments, meetings, and other “to-do” items. Actually, I have three calendars – one on the kitchen wall, one on my desk and one on my phone.
Not only do I have multiple calendars, I am a fanatic list-maker. It is so satisfying at the end of the day to look at that list and see all that I have accomplished – or, so frustrating to look at the list at the end of the day and see how little I accomplished. Frequently, regardless of my best laid plans, interruptions change my day – and those interruptions can be frustrating!
By definition interruptions are defined as things that hinder or stop by breaking in. All of us have experienced them. They may be minor inconveniences such as a phone call, a knock at the door or a text message alert. Or, they may be more poignant in nature such as a tragic accident, 911 or the death of a loved one. Some are short lived and others seem to go on forever. Some are quickly forgotten; others are never forgotten.
The important thing about interruptions is not that our plans were hindered but our attitude about the interruption, how we handled it and what if anything we learned from it.
Jesus was the master of interruptions. Marcia Lebhar says “If you had slept in the same house or field with Jesus, awakened with him, eaten with him and helped him, what would you have observed? One thing we always think of is that Jesus gave himself almost entirely to what we would consider interruptions. Most of the teaching, healing and wonders we see in his life were responsive…seemingly unplanned. He trusted that what the Father allowed to cross his path was exactly that…from the Father.”
Jesus always seemed willing for things to get messy. Well acquainted with interruptions, He created some of the most moving scenes in Scripture while on the way to something else. Someone reaches for his garment, the blind man begs to see, the father pleads for his daughter’s life, the little children want to be near Him and the lame man wanted to walk.
Not only was Jesus’ life filled with interruptions, in a sense He was and is an interruption – to Mary and Joseph, to the disciples that He called to follow Him, to the men on the road to Emmaus and to us as He calls us to be His children and learn from Him. When Jesus is the interruption, lives are transformed.
So, what can we learn from Jesus’ example that will help us to handle life’s interruptions?
- Jesus was never too busy to notice people in need – am I?
- His time was God’s time – is mine?
- He desired to do the will of His Father above all else – do I?
- He viewed interruptions as opportunities – do I?
God allows or orchestrates interruptions in our lives for important reasons.
- They may be personally designed appointments to help us to grow spiritually.
- They may provide us an opportunity to be a reflection of Jesus’ love to those in need.
- They may serve as a reminder of God’s presence in our day to day lives.
- They may remind us that our time is not our own.
All too often we respond to the interruptions of our well-ordered lives with attitudes like frustration, irritation, fear, and doubt. Instead, God’s surprises in our day are full of opportunities. Let’s welcome them as a new “to-do list” from Him.
Lord, if I’m feeling rushed today,
I need Your eyes to help me see
That when an interruption comes,
It is an opportunity. – Sper
In the end, our highest goal should not be the flawless execution of our plans, but our relationship with God. I have found that when I yield to God’s interruptions, I have more than enough time to accomplish the items on His “to-do list”.
Truth to Be Claimed: Interruptions can be God’s appointments and should be embraced with expectation.
Application: Submit your schedule to God; plan to depend on God, even in the ordinary things; reflect on the examples from Scripture to learn how others dealt with interruptions; develop an attitude of gratitude, even for interruptions.
Solo Deo Gloria