Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington
How Do You Handle Interruptions?

How Do You Handle Interruptions?

 

Interruptions used to be the exception. Or at least, that’s the way it seemed. Today, not so much. Today, interruptions seem to be the rule instead of the exception.

How do you handle it when your day doesn’t go as planned? I’d like to say I handle those occasions graciously. But in all transparency, at the end of the day my focus tends to go to all the items on my to-do list that I didn’t get to because of—yup—interruptions.

Ever feel like that? You plan your day, only to have your schedule upended by a call, a crisis, or a cancellation. You reshuffle priorities, move tasks to the next day, and by evening you’re exhausted. But it’s not the satisfied exhaustion that comes from completed plans.

If you’re a mom with little (or not-so-little) ones at home, I’ve just described your typical day. And if you’re an executive in a large corporation, you can probably relate equally as well.

 

What Did Jesus Do?

Does it help to know Jesus lived with interruptions on a regular basis? Yet, the gospels show us again and again that He did not view anything as an interruption. Instead, He viewed every event as coming from His Father’s hand.

Consider:

  • Mark 1:21-25 – a man with an unclean spirit interrupted Jesus’s teaching in a synagogue.
  • Luke 5:17-19 – Jesus’s teaching was interrupted by friends of a paralytic who lowered him through the roof to appeal for healing.
  • Mark 5:1-10 – after Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee with His disciples, a demon-possessed man met Him as soon as they disembarked.
  • Matthew 9:18-19 – Jairus, a synagogue official, appealed for his daughter’s healing by interrupting Jesus’s teaching
  • Matthew 9:20-22 – a woman who had been hemorrhaging for twelve years interrupted Jesus as He was on His way to Jairus’s house—an interruption that caused Jesus to arrive at the house after the girl died.
  • Mark 10:17-22 – as Jesus was setting out on a journey, a rich young man ran up to Him and asked how to inherit eternal life.

This is just a sampling of the interruptions Jesus experienced. But interruptions did not bother Him because He was on His Father’s timetable, not His own. If the Father allowed an interruption, the activity merely became the next thing He was supposed to do.

What an example for me: to hold my plans loosely and leave room for what God has intended for my day. To recognize that He may use interruptions to redirect my attention or to be His hands and feet to help someone else. To write my agenda in pencil and carry a big eraser!

As the new year continues to unfold, will you join me in viewing our interruptions as God’s divine appointments? Let’s purpose to receive with grace what He allows, trusting His sovereignty and leaning on the Holy Spirit to carry us through it all for His glory.

 

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