Monday morning, my ringing phone interrupted my shower three times. Three times.
When the first call interrupted, I hoped it was one of my children or grandchildren calling to tell me how much they loved me. Wrong. Telemarketer. Honestly, there are times I really miss being able to “slam down the receiver.” The second call came even before I could re-enter the shower. I answered, hoping it was the same telemarketer so I could give her a piece of my mind. It was an older gentleman. With a feeble voice, he said, “Sorry, wrong number.” Yeah, I’m sorry, too.
Third call came in the middle of lathering my hair. Another interruption? Was I ever going to get clean? I stuck my head out from under the water and rather crisply said, “Hello!” To my chagrin, it was someone whom I had asked to call me! I apologized to her, and when I met with her later that day, she apologized to me for “interrupting” my shower.
Interruptions. They surround us, invade our thoughts, frustrate our plans, and corrupt our conversations. When someone interrupts us with, “Have you got a minute?” we know one minute is not going to be long enough. An interruption that begins, “May I ask you a question?” will likely involve many questions.
Jesus was interrupted (Mark 5:25-43) on His way to heal Jairus’s daughter when a seriously ill woman reached out to touch His robe. He stopped, allowing his journey to be interrupted by asking who had touched Him. When she said, “I did,” Jesus commended her faith and set free from her suffering.
Jesus told a story (Luke 10:25-37) about a Samaritan man’s business trip being interrupted when he helped a Jewish man who had been robbed, beaten, and left by the side of the road. The Samaritans and the Jews hated each other. But the Samaritan interrupted that hate with his kindness.
Life never goes as we plan, does it? Interruptions destroy well-laid plans. Our attitude towards life’s interruptions dictates how we handle them. Sometimes interruptions are orchestrated by God.
How I wish I had allowed the interruption of my shower long enough to say to the gentleman, “Maybe it’s not a wrong number. Do you need something? Is there anything I can pray for you about?” I missed an opportunity to be that man’s Good Samaritan.
How grateful I am that when a good friend called last week and asked, “Are you busy?” I was able to reply, “Not too busy to talk to you.” What followed was an intense conversation about obedience to God and recognizing the leading of the Holy Spirit. It was a sweet time of mutual encouragement and prayer. A blessed interruption.
Can we be sensitive to interruptions? Can an interruption be a way to share our faith? To be of service? To pray and encourage each other? To listen and offer comfort?
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps’ (Proverbs 16:9). Could it be that the Lord also establishes our interruptions?