Welcoming Life’s Interruptions

Dear Reader:

Unless we have won the lottery, don’t most of us dislike daily interruptions…like solicitor’s calls, long-winded great aunt Phoebe, canned reminders of this or that appointment still weeks away, or a stomach virus  call from school about your child preceding  a long-planned, exciting family holiday…the list could go on and on.

If we are honest with ourselves…these mildly to deeply annoying interruptions don’t have as much to do with the interruption itself but losing control of our well-planned life. And it is just not man-made interruptions that leave us pouting, but also God-directed interruptions.

Because I was anxious to finish the Mitford series…I ended up purchasing a few books from the series myself rather than wait on the next one from a friend who out of town on vacation. So I ended up with about four books from the series. I decided to organize them and put them up the other day.

As I was putting this particular book up a book marker was sticking out of it…when I turned towards the page where it was located I saw where I had underlined a sentence that read:

“We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God.”

 

 

I started reminiscing how challenging it must be for God to grab my (or anyone else’s) attention. For me it took being brought down to the deepest, darkest corridors of fear…my original breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent scary treatments (chemo, radiation, and several surgeries.) It was only then that God’s interruption was not only welcomed but appreciated beyond measure.

It made me start thinking about how Jesus must have felt with the people’s interruptions on his sparse and precious time here on earth… to get so much done in such a small amount of time. Surely the mortal part of Jesus must have felt irritation at so many interruptions…I was wrong.

As I researched this topic two incidences were mentioned in scripture concerning examples of interruptions that would have driven any of us to distraction…but not Jesus.

Jesus Interrupted

I can’t help but marvel at how Jesus handled interruptions. Take the story told in Matthew 14, when Jesus finds out about John the Baptist’s beheading. Jesus is saddened by the news. He wants to be alone. So what does He do? He gets in the boat and starts on a journey to get some solace and relief.

But Jesus’ solace is soon interrupted. A large crowd gets word of His plan, and the people make it to the other side in order to wait for Him.

Imagine Jesus as He nears the shore and catches a glimpse of thousands of people waiting to meet Him. Most of us would be frustrated at the sight. We’d probably decide it best to send away the crowds. Or maybe we’d stay in the boat and go somewhere else.

But that’s not Jesus’ response. He’s not frustrated. Matthew says he felt compassion for the people.

Compassion?

Yep. While I’m busy figuring out a way I can keep control, Jesus is thinking of how He can show compassion. He doesn’t throw a pity party for Himself. Instead, He puts others first. What would stir up frustration in us stirs up compassion in Him!

Source: Life’s Interruptions are Divine Opportunities (Trevin Wax)

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

…”Sweat trickled down the backs of Jesus and his disciples. The crowd pressed close as the people pushed and shoved to get a better look at the Savior, the wonder worker. A man named Jairus, a synagogue ruler and father of a twelve-year-old girl, dropped at Jesus’ feet, begging him to come and heal his dying daughter.

The man was frantic. He knew his daughter’s life was hanging in the balance. Why wouldn’t the people step aside and allow Jesus to get to his house? Even minutes could mean the difference between life and death. Jesus inched his way through the crowd, but the pressing only increased.

Suddenly Jesus stopped in the middle of the road. The father frowned, wringing his hands and looking at the crowd as if searching for someone – anyone – to urge the people out of the way. All he could think of was his daughter’s life. 

…But if Jesus didn’t hurry, He would have nothing but sorrow – and a daughter dead before her time.

Then Jesus spoke gently but firmly. “Who touched me?”

The disciples looked at one another in disbelief. “Not me,” each said. They reminded Jesus that the crowd was like a sea around them. There were probably many who bumped into Jesus. It couldn’t be helped.

But Jesus’ words contained a greater meaning: “Someone touched me: I know that power has gone out from me.” Not only did someone touch Jesus, that person touched his power intentionally. And Jesus knew it instantly.

Finally, a woman fell at Jesus’ feet. For twelve years she had suffered from hemorrhaging. No doctors had helped. She was not only poor, but a social outcast who could never be considered “clean” and whole. And her condition had only worsened.

But touching the Master had brought the desired results. Something had happened to her, so she admitted the truth.

Jesus honored the faith of the woman and granted total healing. She could then return “in peace,” freed from her emotional, physical, and spiritual suffering (Mark 5:34).

But the distraught father had not found freedom. His emotions were still tied in knots. Then a messenger arrived, announcing it was too late. His daughter was dead. The woman’s interruption had cost Jairus his daughter’s life. “Why bother the teacher any more?” cried the messenger above the alarming wails of the crowd (Mark 5:35).

But to Jesus, life had no real interruptions. Not really. Oh, there were things that seemed like interruptions .

But interruptions? Not to Jesus. Interruptions represented people. And people were his business. People were his purpose. Interruptions spelled opportunities to display his Father’s great power and love.

And in the grander scheme of things, interruptions never slowed Jesus down or aborted his purpose. Which would represent the greater miracle to the father and his family: healing the girl’s sickness or raising her from the dead? “The child is not dead but asleep,” Jesus said to the crowd of mourners at the man’s home (Mark 5:39). They erupted in laughter. But Jesus simply continued the work he had come to do, restoring the lost, healing the sick, glorifying his Father in whatever means that interruption afforded. And the girl lived again.

One can only wonder at Jesus’ deeper meaning. Even death is only an interruption, not the end of life as we know it.

Source: Book Excerpt: The God of Interruptions- Rebecca Barlow Jordan

So until tomorrow… “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 us day by day.”

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Sometimes “interruptions” are the best parts of the day…for example yesterday I was watering my garden early in the morning and two morning glories unfolded themselves right before my very eyes….a sign of a doubly beautiful day. And it was!

I remember reading in some of my cancer pamphlets after I was first diagnosed with breast cancer…that the cancer journey can be best perceived as a “detour.” They were right…a detour that I am still on to this day…but this detour…this permanent interruption has given me more gifts of understanding the deeper, more meaningful parts of life  than any time preceding my diagnosis. I am richer for it.

Tomorrow two important medical interruptions are occurring for Brooke and Gin-g. At six=thirty tomorrow morning Brooke will get her rotator cusp/ligament fixed and May 30 is also Gin-g’s surgery she has been tested and probed …for … so long.

Our wish girls…is that these interruptions will bring back comfort and joy into your lives….

Love you….I know Brooke and Gin-g would appreciate your prayers as the days of waiting finally come to fruition.

 

 

 

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to Welcoming Life’s Interruptions

  1. bcparkison says:

    Double prayers for your friends. and…that daisy like flower is beautifu las well as the blue morning glory.

    Like

  2. Becky Dingle says:

    Thank you….will be glad both procedures are over and relegated to the past….

    Like

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