Interruptions... what are you like with them?
Okay, I know there are times when we just need to get something done...a really important presentation is due at work...we have to get an assignment in for college...you've a thousand things to do before you leave for holiday...or you just really need some "me" time.
So we ignore our phone...we don't reply to an email...we don't answer the door.....let's face it, sometimes hanging up the "Do not Disturb" sign is the necessary thing to do.
But I was really challenged this week by something I read in Mark's Gospel...chapter 6.
The context is this....
Jesus has just sent his disciples out with authority to teach and perform miracles. They're back from their trip, eager to tell Jesus all that happened (6:30), and you get the impression that Jesus is eager to hear. But people were coming to "get a bit of Jesus", and so Jesus suggests they go off somewhere by themselves so that they can rest and update him (6:31). So that's what they do...they take a boat to a "solitary place" so they can hang out with Jesus.
...the crowds find out and go and meet the boat - there was no getting away from them!
Mark 6:34 says that "when Jesus landed and saw a large crowd he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things."
'Hang on a minute Jesus....weren't you supposed to be hanging out with your disciples...giving them a bit of your time and attention?!'
Ahh...an interruption....even Jesus had to deal with them.
And this is what struck me....
What am I like with interruptions?
...to my time?
...to my schedule?
...to my priorities?
...to my life?
Again, let me re-iterate....saying "no" is sometimes the right thing to do...sometimes the best thing to do...sometimes the necessary thing to do. Sometimes, hanging out the "do not disturb" sign is right and proper.
I think there are other times when we can be so enslaved to ourselves...so absorbed with ourselves...that we object to interruptions as "intrusions" into our lives. And the result?.....we miss out on opportunities to be like Jesus...to serve Jesus...to minister his love and grace to people in need.
So let me ask again, what are you like with interruptions?
The last few weeks I've been writing about the 4 areas we looked at in our recent Habitudes series, and particualrly, questions we can be asking ourselves and others that are "growth" questions. So I wonder if "what are you like with interruptions" is a question that flows out of The Neighbourhood?
If God wants to grow us as we follow Jesus on our frontlines...in our neighbourhoods...then we need to be prepared for interruptions.
...following Jesus means becoming like Jesus.