Have you ever noticed how many stories start out with a description of the main character in a happy setting until something interrupts the plan? Adam and Eve hanging out with God in a garden, Joseph growing up in a big family with an adoring dad, Abram minding his own business in Ur…people going through their normal existence, BUT THEN…

Throughout my life, I have marked as a good day one that is full, productive, and efficient. To accomplish a lot and have time in the end to admire the work fills my heart with satisfaction. Before my feet even touch the floor in the morning, I have a list in my mind of what I will do and when it will happen. Raising six kids in a foreign country slowed the process down a bit, but as I became more proficient in language and scheduling, I felt like I could eventually get back to productivity. Scott called me an energizer bunny, my dad called my activity level hyperactive, my kids called it exhausting to keep up with…I just called it life.  BUT THEN…

We moved into my mom’s house to take care of her as Alzheimer’s eats holes in her brain. Most of what my mom has always been to me is gone, and now we’re at the stage where I need to consistently provide for many of her daily needs. While out with her to get her hair coiffed yesterday, she asked if we could also go and look at dresses. I felt like my brain’s GPS sighed, “Recalculating,” as I adjusted the efficient plans of the day to assimilate this interruption. We ambled through the department store at a snail’s pace in what felt like torture as she touched every piece of clothing that looked colorful. My energizer-bunny mind was moving too fast for this stroll and I caught myself having to breathe reminder prayers, “Lord, help me slow down. Help me be all here.”

It reminded me of Jesus’ encounters with so many broken people. They weren’t scheduled; they weren’t factored into the “what needs to be accomplished to make today worth it” list. He stopped to heal a crying widow’s son, he stopped to play with kids and bless them, He stopped to talk to a lonely woman at a well. He stopped doing what was important to do what was even more important. He said YES to those around Him and, in doing so, conveyed worth, value, and respect for each one.

Priscilla Shirer in Life Interrupted stated that “sometimes the divine intervention of God means breaking allegiance with what you love.”  It’s letting go of my desire to be efficient and productive and making space for what I love more—God’s gentle work in my heart, and my precious mom and the days I have left with her. It’s usually in the BUT THEN moments of our lives that we become more human, softer, gentler, more loving. So, mom and I sang in the car. We laughed at the dog whose head was hanging out of the window next to us with his ears flying. We lived that moment, as Jim Eliot says, “to the hilt,” believing it was the will of God.

ACTION: What are some of the interruptions in your life right now that seem to interfere with what is important? What interruptions might God be inviting you to make space for in this season of Lent?


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