I just changed my day off so I could participate in an activity that is near and dear to my heart and see my grandkids more often. I am now working on Fridays. Today is my first one working since I came to Post three years ago. I knew going in that the church office is closed on Friday afternoon. However, I thought that I would come into the office on Friday afternoon anyway. I thought it would be quiet so I could get a lot done. I could get a leg up on my sermon or clean my office or get caught up on a few odds and ends that often go undone – things that have to be done, but don’t affect anyone but me or my higher ups. I have now been in the office for 25 minutes after taking a lunch break. I left home thinking that I could possibly finish the sermon that I got a good start on this morning. Wouldn’t you know it. I have been interrupted. TWICE! Once by the UPS man and a few minutes later by the FedEx man. Neither was a very long interruption and both were necessary as we needed the materials we ordered. But they were enough to get me distracted and off onto something else, like this blog post.
I started wondering if I am the only one that has trouble getting back on track after an interruption. After a few moments I realized that I know many people who work the same way. Then, after further contemplation, I remembered that the Bible is full of interruptions and people never really did get back on track afterwards. The track they were on was disrupted and even dismantled. A new and better track was put in its place. Hide a baby in a basket so he is not killed on Pharaoh’s order. Boom! An interruption and said baby is now be raised in Pharaoh’s palace in preparation for leading his kinfolk out of bondage in Egypt (the story of Moses). Go out into the fields to tend your father’s sheep, knowing that you are now considered the lowest of the low in society. Boom! An interruption and you are anointed king over Israel AND over your older brothers (the story of King David). Spend the day fishing with your brother and father, hoping to make enough money to live on for a few days or weeks. You guessed it. Boom! An interruption. Jesus is calling you to come with Him and fish for people (the story of the apostles, James and John). These are but three of the numerous times God interrupted the lives of God’s people. In each of these stories, and the many other interruption stories in Scripture, God’s people realized that when God breaks into the world nothing is ever quite the same.
It is still like this today. I am not talking about the interruptions by the delivery drivers this afternoon. I am talking about what happens when God breaks into the world and interrupts us. Take my life for example. I was always the nerdy kid in high school. So, I went to engineering school where I crammed four years of classwork into five years of school, graduating with a degree in Chemical Engineering. At the time I told God, “No self-respecting Colorado girl would ever live in Texas.” I even went further and told God that wherever God took me I would eventually return to Colorado. So, I took a job in New Mexico. I joined a church there and worked with the youth group. I was set. I had my paying job in the world and my fun job in the church. I was going to do both of these until I retired and could move back to my beloved state. Little did I know, or trust, that God has a sense of humor and was laughing at me for the next 25 years. Little did I know, or trust, that God would interrupt my world and my plans would be derailed, dismantled, and replaced with something new and better. My engineering career was replaced by a ministerial one. My plans to move back to Colorado were dismantled by my husband’s health issues that won’t allow him to live where it gets cold for long periods of time. I have found that I have never worked harder in my life than I do now. Nor have I ever been as blessed or as content with my job as I am now. I have come to love my adopted state, especially the people of the churches I have served and the towns I have called home over the last seven years. My husband and I are now trusting that God will lead us to the right retirement spot when the time comes, rather than making plans fifteen years out. In all of it I have discovered that God’s plans for me and my family are so much better than the plans that I had made for myself.
I guess in this I have a couple of questions for all of us. One is are we watching for those God interruptions in our own lives? The second is are we ready and willing to embrace them when they come? John 10:10 (CEB) says in part, “I came so that they could have life – indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest.” As much as we try to say that we are living life to the fullest when we are living life on our own terms, I am convinced that we are not. My own life is enough proof for me. In our humanness I don’t think we even know what that means until God interrupts us. God loves us. God knows what is best for us. God interrupts to show us the path God has in store for us that will lead us into the fullest, best life for us – a life far better than anything we could dream up for ourselves. I encourage us all to turn our focus to the things outside of ourselves. Seek God first. Expect God’s interruptions and embrace them with open arms. I am sure when we do this, we will be pleasantly surprised, fulfilled and perhaps even happy.
That, friends, is all I have to say today. Until next time, be grateful for what you have and be blessed by what God has done for you.