Interruptions. We all know them. And we all hate them (unless of course we’re being interrupted in a task we don’t want to do, LOL). They are distractions. They are things that keep us from doing what we want to be doing, or what we should be doing. They are those annoying, frustrating moments that pull us out of our groove, throw a wrench in our works, or otherwise discombobulate us.
Interruptions are life’s hiccups. And we ALL know how annoying hiccups can be!
Back in September, one of my devotional readings from Live in Grace, Walk in Love by Bob Goff was all about interruptions. I read it while I was away on a writing retreat–one of the few times of uninterrupted writing I manage in a year–so I was especially aware of how far I will go to avoid those dratted interruptions. When I returned from my retreat, I took the time to muse about this topic to the #BeBetter group, and it was something we could all agree with. A few days later, my life was seriously interrupted by a 5-day hospital trip and diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes for my son.
For the next few months, I was left feeling like all I had left were interruptions. My plans, derailed by health issues. My days, interrupted constantly by the need to check blood sugars. My sleep, thoroughly broken by the same. I’ve always loved uninterrupted spans of time in which I can just work. Just be. Just do what I feel I need to do. (Which makes it rather ironic that we chose to homeschool and have both of us working from home. Because lemme just tell you, there is no such thing as a day without many, many interruptions, LOL. As in, the interruptions even have interruptions, until I sit back down hours later and don’t even know what I’d originally been doing! Bet we can all commiserate with that too, right?)
But here’s the thing. Maybe…maybe we’re looking at it all wrong. That’s what Goff pointed out in the devotional, and it’s something I’ve been pondering for months since.
He points out that Jesus was met with constant interruptions too. He was on His way to help one person when He’s stopped by another. Or was on His way to the mountaintop for a much-needed retreat and refresher when He’s interrupted by crowds swarming Him. He was trying to enjoy a nice meal when someone came in to pour oil on His feet. His life was a life of constant interruptions too.
But how did He react?
Well, we don’t see Him complaining. We don’t see Him pushing the interruptions aside. We don’t see Him sighing and getting overwhelmed by frustration.
We see Him pausing. We see Him being constantly “moved by love” for those interruptions, those people so desparate to touch even the hem of their garment that they’d haunt Him through the streets. We see Him recognizing that every single interruption is its own appointment. Not just a distraction from what He was “supposed” to be doing–but a worthwhile task in itself.
Do we view our interruptions the same way?
I’m trying to do that, to view things in a new way.
That the phone call is an unexpected conversation, not an interruption.
The kid at my elbow is a chance to love on one of the most important people in my life, not a distraction.
The email that comes in, filled with demands and exclamation points, is a chance to serve someone in a moment of need, not just something taking me away from my to-do list.
That 2 a.m. blood sugar check is an act of love for my son and a chance to pray, not a half-hour of missing sleep.
What would change in our day if we started viewing each interruption as its own appointment, ordained by God? How much less frustrated would we be if we realized that our time is not our own, and so when our scheduled activity is forced to pause, we recognize it as God tapping us on the shoulder? What if we could seriously view each unexpected thing as a chance to serve Him by serving others and showing His love?
When that woman with the issue of blood touched the hem of His garment, the man who’d been taking Him to his house to heal His daughter no doubt called it a devastating interruption. But the woman called it a life-changing miracle. And Jesus called it another chance to show the love of the Father to a hurting heart. He still healed the little girl–brought her back from death, even. He performed a bigger miracle because of the interruption. And another besides.
We serve a God whose love is not divided by interruptions–it’s multiplied. So let’s rejoice in that assurance…and try to remember that each moment matters…whether it’s filled with what we’d planned or something else entirely.