“Interruptions. They’re aggravating. Sometimes infuriating. They make us want to tell people what we think of them. But how we handle interruptions actually tells us more about ourselves.”
Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer
I love routine. I get up each day with a plan and I execute if flawlessly (in my dreams). To execute my plan each day, I spend a lot of time talking and not enough time listening because listening distracts me from accomplishing the task at hand. Just sitting in quiet reflection is very hard for me because my mind is always thinking of what I should be doing. Years of thinking hard and trying to plan well is wearing me out! Maybe my ability to plan well is preventing me from aging gracefully!
I have to pat myself on the back today, because my plan was executed beautifully. Everybody got breakfast, we finished our school work with few complaints, we ate lunch, and I put the babies down for a nap. The older kids ran outside to explore the creek and I sat down at the table to unwind a minute. Yay! An hour alone, in the house, with a new book.
Within a few minutes, I glanced up from my book and saw all 4 kids running back towards the house. I thought they had seen a snake, but to be honest, I wasn’t worried about their safety. I was more concerned with the fact that this was my hour alone and they were going to ruin it. And ruin it, they did. They had found 2 lizards and 1 huge toad and they wanted to share the experience with me. The excitement was all over my face and a few choice words were on the tip of my tongue.
But today, surprise, surprise, I bit my tongue and chose to extend some grace. (I know, I am just as shocked as you are.)
I put my book down and smiled at those stinky smelling children. I grabbed my camera and followed them out to the creek. The little reptiles were long gone, but not the kids’ excitement. I really tried to listen, but the kids’ chatter was overwhelming. They were so loud I couldn’t hear any of them clearly. We walked all over the yard and tried to find other things that were just as gross and slimy. After a few minutes, the excitement of the hunt wore off and I got the rest of my hour alone.
This interruption became a small retreat in my carefully planned day. Without realizing it, I had walked out of the noise and into a quiet moment. And by noise, I mean the noise that I create for myself: the lists in my head, the thoughts that I don’t take captive, and the incessant planning. The Lord interrupted my day to give me the gift of silence.
I wonder how many blessings I have missed by resisting the invitation to follow the God who loves to interrupt my best laid plans.