"It has been the interruptions to my everyday life that have most revealed to me the divine mystery of which I am a part." Henri Nouwen
Nouwen also wrote of a fellow Notre Dame professor saying regretfully, "My whole life I have been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted until I discovered that my interruptions were my work."
I have been known to say, 'If it's on my calendar, it will happen.' Although this is often the case, it leaves little room for Holy Spirit to enter in and connect with my own spirit when I count on my calendar rather than my God. Events and circumstances create an atmosphere of disarray that makes us want to run for the hills, forgetting we are equipped for interruptions in life. Divine interruptions happen because God thinks we are the best person to handle it.
I was reading the book of Jonah, this prophet makes me laugh out loud. 3 verses in to the book about his story after he was asked by God to go preach against the city of Nineveh, it says ,'But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish.' 3000 miles away rather than 725 from where Jonah was in Joppa. We often hear about Jonah in the context of the story of Jonah and the whale, although this is significant as well, let's not miss this part of blatant disobedience.
I think Jonah makes me laugh because his heart and intentions are not far from mine, more than I would like to admit. Preaching to a city filled with evil was a divine interruption but Jonah did not rush to embrace this command. When asked who he was by the sailors on the ship in the violent storm, Jonah confessed ,'I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.'
He Knew the One who called him, He Knew what He was capable of and yet, Jonah ran. Jonah knew it was his fault that the storm was raging and the sailors needed to throw him overboard. But God...even in Jonah's disobedience, still accomplished His purposes in having the sailors cry out to Him and witness the calming of the sea by their obedience.
Nineveh is a metaphor for any city or place in our modern world, chock full of evil and broken people. Max Lucado says,' The reason the world is so full of chaos is because our hearts are so full of chaos. When we act independently of God and try to do things all ourselves, we bring our chaos, connect to another's chaos and so on and so on.'
As Christ followers, if we can ask God to change our perspective on the interruptions of life, perhaps our chaos will come into alignment with the purposes He has created us for. My interruption has been Capstone Freedom Coaching. At 54, I did not imagine owning a business nor have I dreamed of this but God has called it to existence. I , like Jonah, know that God is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. A God who relents from sending calamity. There is no greater evidence of this than John 3:16' For God so loved the world, that He GAVE His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.'
I know that even in our chaos, He longs for us to come to Him. I know in my heart that He has created me to shepherd and disciple people to know and become like God. He desires us to come into freedom through forgiveness and healing and knowing who we are in Him.
"Believing that life interruptions - divine interruptions - are a privilege, not only causes us to handle them differently, but to await them eagerly." Priscilla Shirer
Pay attention to what you consider to be interruptions. How is God asking you to be willing? Is it a child wanting your attention? Is it work calling again to take another shift? Is it leading an organization while feeling not enough? Is it your husband asking for some time? Is it a loved one needing help? Do not let your hearts get so hard as to ignore the moment that is broken off or discontinued, perhaps it is the 'interruption' that is your moment.