Sunday, November 06, 2022

Life Is a Series of Interruptions

(Monroe sunset)

Today in America, and around the world, we are still experiencing the Great Interruption. Normal life is no more.

Or, perhaps, normal life is a series of interruptions. And these interruptions, as the apostle Paul thought, can actually work to advance the Gospel. (See here, e.g.)

Jesus told Peter that, one day, there will be a Great Interruption. In John 21, after Jesus tells Peter to "Feed my sheep," we see one of the most non-seeker friendly passages in the New Testament. Jesus forewarns Peter:

""Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”" (John 21:18-19)

And Peter followed Jesus.

A real following after Jesus, a real "moving with the Spirit," involves being led by the Spirit into places where we would not want or choose to go. It involves being interruptible, for the sake of the Good News.

Our lives and our plans will often get interrupted by the Spirit, who is non-programmable and unpredictable. Henri Nouwen once said he used to get upset at his life being interrupted, until God told him his life was a series of interruptions.

To be interruptible. That is one mark of true servanthood. 

I've met many church people who you would never ask to do anything. Your request is a great inconvenience in their plans. You hear it in their voices, and see it on their faces. 

I have also met Spirit-led people who are eminently interruptible, willing to follow the Spirit wherever he leads them, to include being led to places where they would not choose to go.

Thomas Merton wrote: "What am I heading for? Where am I going? The answer to that one is: I don't need to know...  God knows what he wants to do with me. Rest in his tremendous love - to know the savor and sweetness of God's love expressed from moment to moment in all the contacts between him and your soul... Rest in that union. It will feed you, fill you with life. He will lead you into perfect solitude in His own good time. Leave it all to Him. Live in the present." (A Year With Thomas Merton, July 3)

Be free from the terrible burden of always having to have things go your way. 

Follow the Spirit in all things, even small things, for the sake of His Kingdom and glory.

Discern how the inconveniences of today can advance the cause of Christ. 

Pray "God, interrupt me. Inconvenience me for your glory."