“An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.”
― G.K. Chesterton―
Recently, I stumbled across a Youtube video of well-known Christian comedian Mark Lowry. I haven’t heard much of his comedy before. In fact, I don’t think I even finished the video clip.
The only reason I mention him now is that the idea for this post came from him. On this video, he began talking about the things that we perceive as important, compared to God’s perspective. As we look at this idea together today, I just wanted you to know where I got the foundational theme for today’s post, as well as several of the Scriptural examples. While I’m not much of a Mark Lowry fan, I think there is quite a bit of truth in this particular observation.
They’re everywhere, aren’t they?
Those people that pull out their cars in front of you like they’re racing to a fire, and then slow down to about 15 miles per hour (in a no-passing zone, generally). The impossibly-long lines at Walmart on Saturdays. The phone ringing when you were about to get to that one thing you’ve been wanting to do all day. The person who just won’t stop talking to you when you really need to be somewhere else.
Yeah, those. Interruptions.
Funny thing is, Jesus seemed to deal with interruptions differently than we do.
In fact, as Mr. Lowry pointed out, it seems like more interruptions made it into the Bible than planned events did (or at least humanly-planned ones)!
Jesus sails across the Sea of Galilee with his disciples, needing a break.
Interruption. In the form of over 5,000 people (Matthew 14:13).
Jesus heads for the house of Jairus the synagogue ruler–and a woman crawls out to brush her fingers against the hem of his robe (Mark 5:21). Interruption. Incidentally, the gospel writer records as much about the newly-healed woman’s interruption as he writes about the miracle of Jairus’ resurrected daughter.
It’s almost as if God knows how preoccupied we get and arranged His book with subtle reminders that we don’t have it all figured out.
I’ve had plenty of interruptions in my life. How about you?
I’ll get things all squared away and nicely organized…and then life stampedes through and tramples my best-laid plans. But…funny thing…in the end, I’m usually glad. I don’t always get to see the whole picture, but every once in a while, God lets me see a peek of what He’s been up to in the things that I call roadblocks, interruptions, or inconveniences.
I want to look at interruptions differently. Instead of bewailing the changed plans, I want to see something else: people in need of a surprising, spontaneous dose of love.
I want to be like Jesus.
He was teaching in a house when suddenly the thatch was snatched back and the plaster crumbled, and a cripple dropped down from the sky. Lowered by four audacious friends. Interruptors of Jesus’ sermon (Mark 2:1-12).
Interestingly — as the comedian’s video pointed out — the Bible doesn’t even bother telling us what Jesus was preaching about. Instead, we get an up-close view of the interruption.
I think God likes interruptions, actually. I think He likes to shake up our lives a little — not in a petty or vindictive way at all, but in a fatherly, teaching-moment sort of way.
Interruptions are moments that God reaches down and reminds us that we aren’t in control after all — He is.
Interruptions are God’s gentle — or sometimes not-so-gentle — way of realigning our priorities with His.
Take the night that the outcast woman slipped into Simon the Pharisee’s feast. She started crying all over Jesus’ feet, dumping a fortune’s worth of perfume on them, and mopping up the pungent puddle with her unloosed hair. (Luke 7:36-50). Talk about an interruption!
Simon was horrified — this sinful woman was in his house! And she had the audacity to sob at his table, badger his dinner guest, and smell up the whole room with her fragrant gift. Interruption indeed!
But Jesus? He commended her, looked on her with love. She was no interruption to Him. She was no accident. She was a Divine appointment.
For Jesus, interruptions were no surprise. He’s God, after all. These events — seemingly random interruptions — were on His day planner all along.
So how do we — since we can’t see into the future (much less control it!) — act like Jesus when it comes to these moments that take our lives by storm?
Since we’re not in control of those “interruption” moments, but we know that God is…why not see them differently?
Instead of grumbling and getting bent out of shape when things don’t follow my day planner, I can beg for the grace (and the desire!) to stop and breathe, to really, truly SEE people and opportunities.
So…next surprise schedule change, next out-of-the-blue flat tire, next interminable line at the grocery store, I pray that my attitude will be less me-centered and more Christ-centered.
Forget my boring little plans.
Tomorrow is packed with adventures planned out by my all-wise Father.