Interruptions can overload our lives. We can ignore them, become anxious about them, or … look at them as opportunities. Which will it be?
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
Recently someone asked me if I’m becoming more impatient as I grow older. I said that, on the contrary, I seem to show more patience than ever before. Rethinking my answer, I must add an exception. I show less patience when interrupted by someone or something, perhaps realizing I must make the most of the time I have left.
Interruptions can distract us. As a young mother, I often told my kids, “Don’t interrupt me now.” Even today, I feel stressed when the phone rings during a crucial part of my editing. Sometimes I cringe, frustrated when someone interrupts me while I’m trying to say something.
Can you relate? Or are you like some who let interruptions wash over them like warm water and keep on smiling? Oh, to be like such super-humans!
“Interruptions never distracted Jesus,” quoted G.H.Morling in Quest for Serenity. “He accepted them as opportunities of a richer service. Interruptions were the occasion of some of His most gracious deeds and revealing words.”
There are many instances from the Gospels that prove Morling’s words. Jesus beckoned little children rather than turn them away as His disciples thought He should. He took time to heal Peter’s mother-in-law while at Peter’s house for dinner. He repeatedly stopped preaching and teaching to heal someone in need or to minister to them in other ways. He delayed His trip to bring a government ruler’s daughter back to life so He could heal a desperate, sick woman. He even took time out of worship in a synogogue to heal a man’s withered hand. And when His disciples wanted to send a multitude of people home, He instead fed them with a mere five loaves of bread and two fish.
How can we use interruptions as Jesus did—opportunities to serve others? Jesus’ actions are the best example we have. He spent much time in prayer and worship with His Father away from the crowds, a time of refreshing for His soul, strengthening of His resolve, and listening to His counsel.
Not much is said about Jesus’ time spent with His Father. But sprinkled throughout the Gospel accounts are words such as these: “He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray.” Notice that He went to a quiet place alone. When we spend time alone in a quiet place with the Lord, He refreshes our soul, too. He strengthens our resolve to rightly and lovingly deal with interruptions. And we can more easily hear His voice for direction in our life.
Lord, help us use interruptions as opportunities to serve others in love. In Jesus’ name, amen.