“We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God. God will be constantly crossing our paths and canceling our plans by sending us people with claims and petitions. We may pass them by, preoccupied with our more important tasks, as the priest passed by the man who had fallen among thieves, perhaps – reading the Bible. When we do that we pass by the visible sign of the Cross raised athwart our path to show us that, not our way, but God’s way must be done.
It is a strange fact that Christians and even ministers frequently consider their work so important and urgent that they will allow nothing to disturb them. They think they are doing God a service in this, but actually they are disdaining God’s ‘crooked yet straight path’ (Gottfried Arnold).
They do not want a life that is crossed and balked. But it is part of the discipline of humility that we must not spare our hand where it can perform a service and that we do not assume that our schedule is our own to manage, but allow it to be arranged by God.”
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together (via inward/outward)
I used to get more uptight when my schedule is disturbed. I mean I’m supposed to finish what I’m supposed to do right? Or perhaps it’s more like I want to drown myself in doing “stuff”. But it’s hard when there are three needy kids in the house. Each wanting attention, or when a fight erupts. When do we ever stop adjusting to the unexpected? When do we ever have a chance to sit down and just chill like now? Well, we do and there will be special times like now when everyone is asleep and I can blog my heart’s content :-) But equally, there will be times of “interruptions” and I believe it’s an art to begin to learn how to embrace these “interruptions”.
I think of the unplanned conversations I had over the phone and across the table. I recall my whole week’s focus shift after knowing there is a need to walk with a friend through hell (possibly still walking through that). I’m not saint and I’m sure no superman. One’s energy is limited. At times, I pat myself on the back for handling the “interruptions” pretty well. Other times I crash and am zonked out. Sometimes, I avoid the “interruptions”. It’s hard to know when is God in it. But, God is always in the process of hindsight. He’s surely there when one pauses to discern upon reflection. It’s the actual “stuff” which serves as the raw material for the Spirit’s transforming work. And while some situations can never be changed, the effect of what had happened can be.
I’ve had some missed calls and missed appointments lately. It’s mostly because the timing of possible meet ups evaded us. But I’m looking forward to have a special Christmas season by meeting this persistent friend who has not given up saying “hello!” ðŸ™‚