Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Living the Interrupted Life

Starbucks in Ann Arbor

Years ago I would get frustrated when my life got interrupted. Then God told me the interruptions were my life. (Thank you Henri Nouwen)

I have plans for today. Having a to-do list is good. Planning is good. But God also has plans for today, and they include me. Therefore I am prepared to have my plans interrupted.

I remember once having plans to travel with our college student ministry for a Saturday at the dunes on Lake Michigan's shoreline. I love doing this kind of thing and was so looking forward to going with Linda and my two young sons! But when morning came the boys were sick. They could not go. Linda could not go. I felt frustrated because I wanted so much to go. I was willing to leave Linda with our sick boys to have fun at the beach. God spoke to me and cut through my selfish protesting. My college students were capable of beaching it without me being there. I just felt interrupted, and was angry. (Note: "frustrated" is just another word for "angry.")

Real life is a series of interruptions. Many of these interruptions are your life, and to selfishly not go after them is to miss the calling and work of God, through you, to others, rather than to the advancement of your own little self. Marriage and family and ministry and friends and work require a flexibility of the spirit to go with the flow of what God is doing rather than be angry because things aren't going according to plan. Whose plan? That is the basic question.

Real followers of Jesus are interruptible. When God says "come," they "come," and rejoice.


My book Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God is available HERE and as a Kindle book HERE