Ironically, I had made up my mind not to attend to ANYBODY until I had cleared up the stuff I scheduled to work on today. I failed. For some reason, my students kept interupting my flow to get something done for them. ‘Aunty, can I have this?’ ‘Aunty can I have that?’ ‘Aunty, what do you think of this?’ ‘Aunty, can you imagine that?’ ‘Aunty, please listen to my essay.’ ‘Aunty, he called me a frog, she called me a monkey.’ ‘Aunty, we came for a hug.’ All these caused me to realize my ‘stuff’ would have to wait. I just spent over three hours attending to my special darlings.
Good thing I’d already made up my mind since yesterday: I won’t mindlessly lose my peace over every interruption.
God is in the interruptions . You’ve probably heard that before. *I’ve* heard that before. But yesterday, driving home from church and listening to a random preacher on a random radio station, I got it. I finally got it.
When things go smoothly, that’s my plan. When there are interruptions that I didn’t forsee or even want, that’s God’s plan. He willed or allowed those things to happen. To fight them is to fight His permissive will. So, getting irritated or trying not to have interruptions is missing out on the joy of being part of God’s plan.
Why do little interruptions occur? As I meditated on this topic last night, I realized they accomplish one of three purposes in our lives (and the ‘best’ interruptions accomplish all three):
1) Interruptions allow us to bless someone else.
When I’m busily typing along and Le Boo wants help finding his wallet, that’s an opportunity to be a blessing to him(…and myself). When I’m trying to get the class to line up and a child asks for help fixing her pinafore, that’s a chance to meet her need. Each time a person interrupts our tasks, we can choose to see ourselves as the hands and feet of God and let Him use us to meet their needs. Or we can sigh and get impatient. It’s totally our decision.
2) Interruptions provide unforseen opportunities and blessings for us . Having a flat tire can mean making an awesome friendship or business connection with someone else who’s waiting at the repair shop. Having to dig through your files for a colleague who needs an extra copy of a form can mean rediscovering that fantastic class activity you’d forgotten and lost. And you never know, having students come to you for every single complaint can turn out to be the perfect opening for a photo-shoot and a blog post. Practice recognizing each little win not as a coincidence, but as a blessing from God and a reward for doing the right thing with the right attitude. You’ll get much more satisfaction that way.
3) Interruptions strengthen our self-discipline. That doesn’t sound like fun, but truthfully, life is a whole lot easier when you have a great deal of self-control and aren’t led by your feelings. Every interruption, if we choose to view it that way, is an opportunity to build our self-discipline. All moments of being tested (even trivial interruptions) produce patience, which produces endurance, maturity, completion, and perfection. If nothing else good comes from an interruption, at least we can know that working through it with a good attitude and a humble heart has planted more seeds of self-control within us which we’ll be happy to reap later on.
We have so many opportunities during the day, especially as teachers, to bless other people through interruptions. We can choose to focus on our agenda that they’re interrupting, or open ourselves up to God’s plan which allows us to be used in ways we never imagined.