The Interruptions

Life has a way of throwing us many curveballs. Our ability to thrive in this life depends largely upon our ability to handle these curveballs. In other words, if you want to be successful in life, you’ve got to embrace the interruptions of life because, as my Dad always said, “The interruptions ARE the ministry.”

That’s a bit much for me to swallow at times. I mean…I’m a planner…an analytic…I love organization and things running in smooth efficiency. If there is a breakdown in the system, everything within me screams to fix it and fix it now! Bottom line, I (like many of you) do not like when my plans are interrupted, but that’s exactly what happens in life.

In fact, our sovereign God has ordained the means of interruptions to wean us from ourselves. We are so prone to rely upon ourselves (i.e. our gifts, our talents, and our abilities). However, along comes a curveball and all of a sudden we are reminded that we are truly finite creatures with limited knowledge and limited resources. It’s as if the interruptions of life are one of God’s many uncomfortable graces in this life. That is to say, God loves us so much that he interrupts our plans and our to-do lists in order to birth within us true Christlikeness (cf. Gal. 5:22-25).

Perhaps a personal illustration might help to clarify what I’m talking about. The past couple of weeks, for me, have NOT gone according to my plan. God, in grace, has thrown me many curveballs, and has offered me many interruptions, to wean me off of myself (i.e. my pride, my self-sufficiency, etc.). For instance, on Sunday, Jan. 25th, an electrical issue at church turned off all of our lights and cancelled our sound system. We held our Sunday morning service in the dark and with no sound. Clearly, this was not part of my plan! The following Tuesday, I walked into the church building to find the lights not working again and the heater broken. Again, not part of my plan. Then on the following Sunday, Feb. 1st, a massive snow storm (i.e. Snowmageddon) dumped 10-12 inches of snow all over southeast Iowa causing us to cancel services for the day – once again, a curveball (an interruption) and definitely not part of my plan.

However, God has been teaching me so much about Himself in these moments of interruption. First, I’ve been reminded that there are ZERO accidents (i.e. curveballs) with God. I think of Genesis 50:20 and Romans 8:28 that make it so abundantly clear that God is sovereign and works everything for our good and His great glory. Secondly, these recent interruptions have reminded me that plans are always subject to change, but the vision NEVER changes! Plans are meant to be interrupted; and midcourse corrections are absolutely vital if we are going to be successful in life and ministry, but the overall vision never changes with our changing plans. I take comfort in that. Bottom line…we are still very much on track to be all that God wants us to be…even with our changing plans. And thirdly, I am reminded, once again, that “the interruptions ARE the ministry.” My dad is right (again) and I thank God that in these moments of interruption, I’ve found valuable time to minister and serve others that desperately need the love of God through my love, care, and concern.

Prairie Flower, embrace the interruptions of life. Your ability to grow and thrive in this life largely depends on your ability to handle the curveballs of life. Thus, handle these curveballs with God. Realize that these curveballs have been given to you by God, and somehow all of it will work out for your good and God’s great glory.

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