You are sitting at your computer, desperately trying to finish up an overdue work project. Or balancing the checkbook, or trying to finally get some writing or studying done. You blocked out this portion of time for yourself, to accomplish good and necessary tasks.
Suddenly your concentration is shattered by the ringing of the phone, and your spouse or friend locked her keys in the car needs your help immediately. Or your normally angelic children barge into the room, arguing loudly about something you really don’t want to hear about. The instant feeling of irritation can be hard to overcome, can’t it?
Ugh – interruptions! What is more frustrating? You know how long your to-do list is, and the satisfying, endorphin-filled moment of crossing an item off, right?
If you are a human of the planning variety, like I am, who thrives on lists, and schedules things weeks in advance, interruption is a nasty word. It means loss of productivity, and time, and the dreaded and disheartening Moving of Action Items to the Next Day in the planner.
But what if interruptions have inherent value that I’ve been missing? What if there is some purpose in each one? What if the frustration and irritation I feel is because of misplaced expectations on my part?
While we’re asking painful and relevant questions, let’s ask one more: Do I “deserve” a day free of interruptions, or blocks of time I have scheduled for myself? Does life, or God, somehow owe that to me? Is my time my own? Oh, sorry, that was three more questions. 🙂
Maybe it’s time to go back to the basics. What is the point of everything, anyway? Jesus said the basics are to love God with everything we have, and to love people. He also said He came here to serve, and not to be served.If anyone was interrupted on a regular basis, it was Jesus. Click To Tweet
I mean, He couldn’t even quickly go from one location to another to save a dying girl without being interrupted. One might say (from a purely human perspective), He was late to His own miracle because of an interruption. Good thing He could also raise the dead (which of course was the plan all along)!.
I can pretty safely say that no one’s life is depending on my schedule proceeding as planned.
The brilliant C.S. Lewis said,
“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own,’ or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life — the life God is sending one day by day.”
― C.S. Lewis,
I love that quote. Or maybe I hate that quote. So, if my time is not my own, and if the whole point of everything is to love, and if interruptions aren’t even “interruptions”, but are the life God is sending me, then what exactly is the problem? Oh, the problem is me. What a surprise.
Today’s epiphany: All along, God has been using interruptions to answer my prayer to make me more like Jesus.
C.S. Lewis said, “if one can”. I am determined, starting today, to see interruptions in a new light. With God’s help, I will look at each day as a gift He is giving me, and see what it contains as part of that gift. I may not necessarily enjoy it, but I will try to remember that “my” time isn’t really mine, after all, and that the whole point of everything is to love.
Would you like to join me in breaking free from false expectations?Our calendars should be tools to help us, not masters to drive us. Click To Tweet
Especially when they drive us away from God and those we love.
Yes, we still need time (even uninterrupted time) to accomplish all the many things we must tend to. Great news: God knows that. We can trust Him for the balancing of time and people so that our lives are effective, for His glory.
Let’s start a revolution and be people who see the value of interruption because we see the value of people. Lord, give us Your grace to embrace whatever You bring our way, and use it to conform us to the image of Jesus!