Have you ever thought that you have everything figured out about what is going to happen next in your life? Maybe you are a major planner and you have planned to best of your ability where you are going to be in the next five minutes as well as where you will be in the next five years. You have set your goals and have taken the steps to accomplish each one of them. Now before you start thinking that I am anti-goal setting, I set goals for my life and make to do lists every day. Some of my to do lists helps me accomplish those goals, while some of my lists are just things that have to get done on a daily basis. So I am not writing today to get people to stop setting goals or to stop making plans. What I am writing about is: what do you do with disruptions?
As I have been sitting at my desk getting ready for the day of studying for the two different classes I am teaching this weekend as well as the coaching session that I am participating in, I have had phone calls and people coming into my office with emergency needs that had to be dealt with on the spot. Do these types of interruptions rattle you and get you off track? Do you get aggravated and put out by such disruptions? Or do you recognize them as opportunities to show God’s grace and mercy to someone?
What happens in your life when illness comes or some form of tragedy? One month ago I was put into the hospital for tests as I was having some problems. I got to spend three full days waiting for the tests to be run and then for the results to come back. I did not take my laptop with me or even a book to read as I was told each day that I would be going home soon. My nurse the first night told me that she did not expect to see the next night as I should go home that day. Well she got to see me the next night as the tests were not finished. She was confused as was I of why I was still there. I took a 3 day vacation from work and from my family as well as all other responsibilities. That was not my intention, but it happened. I had a couple of choices to make during those days. I could be upset that I was somewhere that I did not want to be and gripe to everyone. Or I could realize that I was where I was supposed to be for that time period and concentrate on showing God’s love and mercy to the people who were caring for me. I hoped I chose the second option. I tried. I know that I did not complain about the food or the accommodations. I tried to smile and laugh with each person who came into my room to take blood or to take me to the testing places.
There will always be interruptions in our lives, whether they are major ones like an illness or a hospital stay or minor ones like a phone call or someone who needs help immediately. Can we realize that God is at work and He is giving us opportunities to show Him in everything that is going on? Today when someone comes to your office unannounced or when the phone rings, think about thanking God for the opportunity to minister His grace to that person.
Romans 8:28-29 (ESV)
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.