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Interruptions

Yesterday I had a bunch of work to do.

Write this email, fill out that report, mail this, make these phone calls.
I came in to my office ready to go.  I set up my laptop, shifted my papers on my desk, and picked up the first piece of mail on my desk…

…’knock, knock.’

“Come in.”

Around a half hour later that drop in left, just in time for my ‘scheduled’ meeting guest to arrive. 
An hour after that, it was time for our office staff meeting.
That meeting went longer than usual so that I was actually late for my final meeting of the day, a meeting that I wasn’t expecting until it was rescheduled earlier that day, during the first meeting, because of a time conflict.
My final meeting of the day took me to about the time when I leave to go see my wife after work.

At times during each of those meetings, especially the unscheduled ones, I found my mind wandering to the work I had planned to do that just wasn’t getting done.  I wondered when I would do it, I even imagined myself getting some of it done. 
“What are you doing?” I would say to myself, “be present.”
I would catch myself in the middle of these imaginings and remind myself that’s it’s okay, that these interruptions are my work.  That practicing the discipline of presence was more important than my to-do list.  After these helpful reminders, I would settled down and re-enter the conversations, able to listen actively and be present. 

One of the thoughts that brought me back from spaced-out-land was one I’ve remembered, and been reminded of, from time to time by author Henri Nouwen: “My whole life I have been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted until I discovered that my interruptions are my work.” 

“My whole life I have been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted until I discovered that my interruptions are my work.”    -Henry Nouwen

I have to remind myself that my interruptions are my work.  They are the part of my day that is not my own, that I haven’t planned, and didn’t foresee.  It is both humbling and amazing to look at our interruptions in this way, and to exercise our faith in order to believe that these interruptions might just be ordained by our Father who sees all and knows what is best for us. 

Indeed, my to do list isn’t done, but a couple of my Father’s important items were, and that’s just an outstanding day. 

Father, You are sovereign.  You have ordained creation and all that is in it.  You are in control and we are not.  Thank You for caring about our work.  Thanks for interrupting us, and reminding us that we are not the agenda, that Your plans and purposes are higher than ours.  I ask that You would open our eyes to see where You are at work in our days.  May we look in unsuspecting places and find You.  Amen.

Discussion

2 comments for “Interruptions”

  1. Thank you for the reminder that the interuptions in our day should be looked at, as oportunities sent to us by God.

    Posted by Esther | February 3, 2010, 9:28 am
  2. I Can relate. Life is busy something always comes up, you have your day planned and other things interupt it.

    Posted by Ryan | February 3, 2010, 4:10 pm

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