Interruptions. They distract our focus while we’re cooking. They show up as inconveniences when a friend needs our help, but we have much to do and not enough hours. Unpleasant emails interrupt our peace. Situations beyond our control-like bad weather at the beach or a flight delay disappoint us. We always meet interruptions-some minor, some disruptive.
The best place to start is by looking at how Jesus thought about and dealt with interruptions. If ever anyone was on a mission of obedience to fulfill His Father’s plan and give His Father glory, it was Jesus. He had places to go, things to do, and people to see.
How was He interrupted? What happened when his mission was interrupted?
- Jesus was interrupted by the bleeding woman in a crowd who reached out and touched the hem of his garment, desiring healing from an ailment that had plagued and ostracized her for years. (Luke 8:43-48)
- He was interrupted, as a wedding guest, when His mother told him, “They have no wine.” (John 2:1-11)
- His walk was interrupted when blind Bartimaeus pleaded for sight to be restored. (Mark 10:46-52)
- On His way to a Jewish festival, Jesus noticed an invalid at the pool of Bethesda. He had a simple conversation with that man who had suffered an infirmity for thirty-eight years and healed him The miraculous healing, which took place on the Sabbath, led to conflict among the Jews. (John 5:1-15)
Is that how we can look at interruptions?
- Could the inconvenient phone call be a time to say yes to a request that will lighten the load of the caller? Maybe help with a project or solution to a problem?
- Is the conversation in the store parking lot that delayed us, part of our mission to encourage or even boldly pray with our friend?
- Is that unpleasant email that disturbed our peace, an invitation to pray for the sender?
- Is the flight delay or bad weather at the beach, an opportunity to trust God?
In Part 1, we talked about doing and being. So, as I close out this series, let’s ask the same questions. What do we do? How can we respond? Who can we become in our interruptions?
Let’s take our cues from Jesus who had many things to do but was willing to be interrupted. In his book, Praying Like Monks, Living Like Fools, Tyler Staton writes, “Jesus was intentional and interruptible. There’s a word for that posture: unhurried. Hurry is the great enemy of the spiritual life. Why? Because hurry kills love. Hurry hides behind anger, agitation, and self- centeredness…”
Jesus was willing to be interrupted. He was not in a hurry. Jesus loved.
Results went beyond providing the best wine at the wedding, or new life because physical conditions were healed. The recipients and those around them observed Jesus’ willingness to take time and touch. They saw the glory of His Father.