Interruptions

I sat at my desk focusing on a project or at least trying to do so. I had been interrupted more than once and then the phone rang again. I thought I would ignore it, but by then the interruption was a reality so I took the call.

Interruptions. They cut into our time and intrude on our plans, our project, and our rest. Interruptions hit the pause button, if not the stop button, of that thing we want to do. If we are working on a task that we do not like, for the moment the interruption might be welcome, but most of the time we chafe at an interruption. It slows us down from doing what we want to do. It stops us from moving forward. It reminds us that we are not the center of the universe and not in control.

Interruptions come at us from all directions. They are a normal part of living.

Jesus was often interrupted when He walked the earth. The woman with the hemorrhage touched him as He was walking, on His way to something else He planned to do. Children interrupted Him in the midst of teaching adults. What was His response? Did He see interruptions as a frustration or an opportunity?

What can we learn from that? What can I learn from it?

The man on the phone identified himself by a name that jarred me into alertness. The name was that of an author whose book had greatly impacted me thirty years ago. In a split second my mind was whirling trying to sort out if this was the same person. The man went on to state he had called me because he noticed I shopped online often for his father’s book. He quickly went on to tell me his middle name, which differed from his father’s.

He explained that his father had died and he had some copies of unsold books so requests routinely came to him. He was curious. What caused the interest in the book after so many years? How had his father impacted someone that now looked for more copies?

Our conversation lasted for nearly fifteen minutes. I shared about its impact on me and said I used the books with others I counseled. He said he was coming to my area in a few weeks and wondered if he could stop by my office. We hung up and I leaned back in my chair reflecting.

The call had interrupted things I needed to get finished that day, but if I had not taken it I would have missed meeting the author’s son, which blessed me. I would also have missed being a blessing to the author’s son as I told him about the impact of his father’s work.

As I reflected on the call, I felt challenged to consider what the Lord might want to show me through the many interruptions I experience every day. Not all interruptions seem like opportunities or blessings. Perhaps before I chafe at an interruption I need to pause and consider what the interruption is about, whether the Lord is in it, whether it is an opportunity. What can I learn from it?

What do you do with interruptions?  

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