It often feels like life is what happens between the interruptions. And let’s face it, there are often more interruptions than life! These interruptions can be huge or minor. Plans change. Bodies get sick. Loved ones die. Work schedules change. People drop by unannounced. You run out of toilet paper at the wrong time.
I confess that interruptions often annoy me, because I am engrossed in “my” time or on “my” schedule, and when that schedule fills up the interruptions annoy me all the more.
“Don’t these people know how busy I am?”
“Who passed these germs on to me?”
“ANOTHER spam call?”
When I am interrupted, so often my first response is, as the old saying goes, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
But there is good news.
This week we’re going to continue looking at the Christmas Story. Not the one with the air rifle. The real one. In Luke 2:1-20 we’ll see Joseph and Mary’s life get interrupted again by a tyrant from many miles away. We’ll see them take a long and dangerous journey because of that interruption. We’ll see them struggle to find a place to lay their heads in a strange town. And in the midst of the chaos that interruption brings, we’ll see their special Son be born.
We’ll also see some shepherds’ routines be profoundly interrupted. They will be interrupted by a messenger with a message that they will believe, act on, and then tell anyone who will listen. That interruption will change their lives forever.
You see, these circumstances, which seem so much like unwanted interruptions, are part of a much bigger Story. A Story written before time began. A Story not of chaos, but of Providential order in the midst of what looks like chaos to us.
When I think about it this way, I am simultaneously convicted and encouraged. Convicted in that when I get annoyed by interruptions, I am failing to remember the bigger picture that God is at work in the midst of my circumstances. Encouraged in that even these “interruptions” and my poor responses to them can’t stop God’s plan from moving forward.
From God’s perspective, there are no such things as an “interruption.” By His grace I hope that He will help me live out this perspective, even though I know that means that I’ll have to keep learning this slowly and painfully as I loosen the grip on “my” schedule.
Thanks for letting me interrupt your day with this message. I hope to see you this Sunday morning at 9:27 so that we can interrupt our lives once again with the story of Christ’s birth!