The marathon of March break has begun. Right at the same time as reading through the New Testament in 40 days with Margaret Feinberg. Awesome. I’m going to have so much spare time during spring break! In addition I’ve got a head cold. What a super start to the break!
On Monday as I’m getting ready to start my reading, I sent the boys to watch (horrors) TV. As the sound was starting to inch up, I yelled for them to turn it down as I had “stuff to do”. As in bible reading. Superb. Let’s start our reading with yelling at the kids.
Today when I pulled my bible out, a little head appeared and started to tell me about the latest LEGO thing. How am I supposed to read for Lent, do my bible study as well as write, all of which requires quiet.
As I lay awake in the early hours trying to breathe and keep my head from exploding, I thought about what it was I was trying to do this Lenten season.
Walk closer to Jesus. Get to know him better so I can be more like him. As I read through Matthew last week (before March break) and as I’ve been doing my bible study on Jesus, what stood out to me was Jesus often broke off from the crowds to get rest, be alone and pray.
But as many times as he did, he got interrupted. By the crowds seeking him out. By his disciples. Never once did he turn them away with a harsh, Leave me alone. Instead, he welcomed them and had compassion on them.
Really? It seems to me that a good portion of Jesus’ ministry was made up of interruptions. People asking for healing. He couldn’t even teach without being interrupted by a man coming down through a hole in the roof! Crowds came out of the cities to hear him by the thousands. And when a woman touched his cloak for healing because she didn’t want to bother him, he stopped and sought her out.
Why? Because that was why he came. He was about his father’s business and that business was us.
Why am I surprised and annoyed with interruptions? Why do I hold so tightly to my agenda? If Jesus’ ministry was made up of many interruptions, why am I so surprised by them in my own life?
What would happen if the only thing I took away from my Lent readings was that Jesus welcomed interruptions (people) and had compassion on them? That I too, was an interruption and he welcomed me and had compassion on me?
What if I took Jesus’ example seriously? What if I welcomed my kids interrupting my readings and had compassion on them? Wouldn’t that make more of a difference than checking my little done box?
What if I filtered my interruptions through Jesus? He had compassion on the people because they were lost, like a sheep without a shepherd it says in the book of Luke. What if I looked on my annoyances (people) through the eyes of Jesus?
I admit I don’t relish the idea of welcoming interruptions because it’s scary. It means I may have to get off my comfy couch. Honestly, I’m afraid I’ll fail. I am so entrenched in my own life and agenda that I’m afraid I’ll fail miserably at this. I don’t want to be a hypocrite. So why bother right? But wait, aren’t we given the Holy Spirit precisely because we can’t ever do this on our own? If we are walking beside Jesus wouldn’t we trust him to help us?
Lent is preparing our hearts for Easter. Maybe that includes embracing and welcoming the interruptions that make up our lives. Sometimes it’s the interruptions in life that cause the most change simply because we listened and obeyed Him. And we once again get to witness his faithfulness. In the end isn’t that what it’s all about anyways?