If I had to describe my day today in two words, they would be "Constantly Interrupted."
Just as soon as I was starting a project, the phone would ring. And then as soon as that call had ended... the phone would ring. In the middle of a super busy check in? Ring, ring, ring.
All. Day. Long.
And for even for someone with a personality like mine (people-pleasing perfectionist), there was only so much I could handle before I started getting seriously grouchy. Couldn't I get just one thing done today?? Why can't people call at convenient times?!?
And unfortunately, my frustration was becoming evident with the way I answered the phones. Short, direct answers, impatience... and it was my husband who called it to my attention.
"Smile," he said. "They can hear your smile through the phone."
I did not want to smile.
I wanted all these people to just leave me alone.
In Mark 6, Jesus goes on vacation.
Okay, maybe not "vacation" per se, but he calls his disciples into a time of rest after a busy season of ministry. They need a break.
But instead of rest, they find interruption.
The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. - Mark 9:30-33
But instead of turning the people away, instead of getting annoyed, Jesus had compassion on them.
They needed someone to lead them, to guide them- like sheep without a shepherd.
Jesus didn't see the crowds as an unwelcome interruption to his day, to his plans, but as people who were in need of the thing only he could provide. And then, if that wasn't enough, Jesus took a small lunch and fed five thousand.
First he gave them spiritual sustenance, and then he miraculously fed their physical bodies.
Jesus didn't see the five thousand as a hindrance to his day, but as the purpose of his life.
He didn't look on them with contempt and ask why they couldn't have come sooner, more prepared, or with an invitation. They weren't an annoying obligation- they were an opportunity.
In this season of my life, interruptions are incredibly common. My day never really turns out the way I'd planned it to (and oh, isn't that true of life in general?).
In spite of my own plans and expectations, I know I can still answer the phone with a smile.
And when the interruptions come, I hope I can dig deeply and find the opportunities instead of the inconvenience. I hope I can see the interruptions as God sees them- as people, just like me, in need of love.
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