Friday, November 03, 2023

A Disciple of Jesus is Interruptible


(For the most part, if not entirely, this has changed.)

I used to be irritated when something I was planning to do got interrupted. I saw interruptions as intrusions into my schedule. This has changed. It happened when I positioned Jesus as my Lord. Jesus taught me that, in his kingdom, the interruptions are my life.  

I was in the Illinois Army National Guard for six years. During this time of service, I experienced several interruptions. One time my unit was called up to do flood duty, as river waters were overflowing and threatening homes in Rockford, Illinois. We were out protecting against vandalism for a week. Needless to say, whatever plans I had were on hold.  

Another time, when I was in college and had much to do, we were called up to do riot control. Campuses across the nation were protesting the war. Kent State University had experienced violence. It was a dangerous time in our country. I was dispatched to the campus of Northern Illinois University. That's where I was going to school! Now, I was on campus, dressed in military clothing, carrying an M-16. Obviously, I missed some classes.  

Whenever our company commander called my unit to assemble and go somewhere, I got up and went. This is because I was in his service. When in the service, my plans were set aside. 

The same kind of thing happens with Jesus. He is my Lord. I am in service to him. He is on a mission, and I am a spiritual soldier in the Lord's spiritual army. When he calls, I get up and go!  

Linda and I live an interruptible life. Interruptions are our life. We've been living this way for our fifty years together, and we love it. Yes, when we get a call in the middle of the night, we are tired. At least for me, I'd like to roll over and sleep some more. But it is exhilarating, often after the fact, when Jesus says, "Drop what you are doing, and follow me!"

We know the Lord has plans and purposes for us. We are in service to Him. This is not some special calling, reserved for a few extra-fanatical saints. This is basic, boots-on-the-ground Christian living.  

Hardly a day goes by without Jesus calling us to go here, or do this, or reach out, or help with this, or call this person, or give here. As this happens, our schedule changes. We believe this is the normal Christian life. I don't know how I could live without it.  

Disciples of Christ are not too busy to be interrupted.

Life is a series of divine interruptions.  

I want this kind of life for you.


 I love being interrupted by Jesus and responding to his callings.

 I see the Lord's plans and purposes for me as superior to my own plans.

Jesus, I give you permission to call on me to help and serve any time, any place.

 I see my life as a series of divine interruptions.

 It is a great privilege to be in service to Jesus my Lord.

 I am like Peter, leaving my nets behind to respond to the call of Jesus.

(From my book 31 Letters to the Church on Discipleship.)