Interruptions: An Inconvenient Truth

Psalm 31:15 “Hour by hour I place my days in your hand, safe from the hands out to get me.”

An inconvenient truth is interruptions! These are annoying time interludes that boldly take hostage the order of our schedules and plans. They come in all shapes and sizes, generally thrusting themselves upon the soul at the most inopportune hour. They cannot help themselves; interruptions are as manipulative and impulsive as the day is long. Sometimes we believe them to be calculating, conspiring minions commanding malevolence to our very existence. They show up without warning and demand full attention of agendas and resources. These little time thieves care not about how long they last, or how much organization they disrupt, they demand their needs be promptly recognized and satisfied. Never do they take into consideration circumstances or their victim’s carefully planned agendas, they just come as predatory monsters devouring schedules. Yes, interruptions are unfeeling devils set out to disrupt the very flow of life and existence as we seek to apportion the same wisely.

What emotions do these little imps bring out in you? I suppose anger, frustration, disappointment are just a few to start. No doubt the degree of passion corresponds to the significance and desire of our hour’s investment. If we were planning a wonderful day trip to Disneyland, set aside money and time to be with friends and family, the interruption of red traffic signals might cause us to conclude an impish conspiracy is working against us thus developing the feeling of anger at every stop. However, the interruption of a traffic accident would produce an entirely different and deeper emotion within. And while the two imps are battling for supremacy, we prioritize the interruption of the red traffic signal to be less significant than the interruption of a car accident—the urchin of the red lights wins.

I was recently reading about interruptions to Jesus’ schedule and plans. I was amazed at how He handled these waifs. Luke 8 tells the story of the Savior’s desire to carry the message of salvation to the people of the Gerasene countryside. He had barely arrived when a man tormented by demons interrupted His journey. Naturally, Jesus healed the man where He stood. But with that healing came a major interruption to the Lord’s plans. Fear gripped the Gerasenes, they asked Him to leave and Jesus had to abort His mission. What did Jesus do? Call down fire from heaven upon them? No, He calmly got back into the boat and returned to Capernaum—plans interrupted! Again, as soon as He arrives at home a disparate father, whose daughter is close to death, pleads with Him to come and heal. Immediately, without hesitation Jesus develops a new plan and ventures to help. Along the way a woman with a chronic illness reaches out, touches Him and causes another interruption. She has waylaid His plans just long enough for death to overtaken the little girl of His mission. Unfazed, Jesus takes care of both needs, one-at-a-time. Does the Savior worry about interruptions? It’s as if He sees them all as part of a bigger plan and He adjusts as they come—it’s all part of the Father’s will!

Maybe that’s the heart of the Psalmist when he writes, “Hour by hour I place my days in your hand…” Just perhaps that’s what the heart of Jesus is like. I don’t always have control of my program and arrangements! But if I place my time in His hands hour by hour, and leave them there, maybe a few of the emotions and feelings that attempt to own me will not find any footing in my soul. Every hour is done in His will when committing every moment to Him. Every second is dedicated to His pleasure. So now I find that interrupting disappointments are His appointments for my life.

J Robert Hanson



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