Posted by: mikenicholsblog | July 27, 2014

moments of God-value

Has the following scenario caused conflicted emotions for you? While focusing on a project, someone interrupts you with the words, “Do you have a moment?” or “Are you busy?”  Internally your emotions scream, “No, I don’t have time!”  But instead, you whisper the words, “Sure, what can I do for you?”  Most caring people want to help others, but it seems that the interruptions of life disrupt our perfectly laid plans.  It’s so easy to build a model for what needs to be accomplished in a day, only to have it interrupted by a myriad of issues and people. Over the past week, I have been contemplating my view daily disruptions as compared to the way Christ lived His life.

As I have read scripture this year, the words of Jesus have been a main focus of my study. The actions of Jesus are invaluable guides as I travel my own journey. From my vantage point, Christ lived a very interrupted life.  Just in the last several days, I have noted several instances that would have been disruptions to my daily agenda.  A man named Jarius falls at Jesus’ feet, wanting Jesus to come to the aid of his dying daughter. On the way to Jarius’ home, a woman subject to bleeding for twelve years touched the edge of his cloak. Jesus stopped and ministered to her before continuing on. On another occasion, Jesus and the disciples withdrew to a place called Bethsaida and crowds followed. What did Christ do? Taught them, healed those who needed healing, and fed the five thousand. His movements were constantly disrupted by people with needs. Interestingly, the Son of God was compassionate and caring using the interruptions to minister, heal and teach.  Are the interruptions you and I face viewed as opportunities to care and help?

In reading The Rest of God, by Mark Buchanan, words about the life and interruptions of Jesus struck a nerve.

“He lived life with the clearest and highest purpose. Yet he veered and strayed from one interruption to the next, with no apparent plan in hand other than his single, overarching one: get to Jerusalem and die. Otherwise, His days, as far as we can figure, were a series of zigzags and detours, apparent whims and second thoughts, interruptions and delays, off-the-cuff plans, spur-of-the-moment decisions, leisurely meals, serendipitous rounds of storytelling…….

No, Jesus didn’t seem to keep time. But he noticed. So many people along the way—blind men, lame men, wild men, fishermen, tax men, weeping whores, pleading fathers, grieving mothers, dying children, singing children, anyone—captured his attention. He stopped to tell a lot of stories, many of which arose out of, well, more interruptions.”

Christ was far busier than you or me. Yet we become so enamored or absorbed in our schedule and our plans that we don’t —notice — like Christ did. This is not a call to spend our days singing Kumbaya, not focusing on what has to be done. At the same time, if you and I look at interruptions selfishly, then we’re certain to fail to notice meaningful opportunities given to us by God. We must look at interruptions with eyes that are wide open and with a heart of wisdom.

“My whole life I have been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted,” Henri Nouwen said near the end of his life, “until I discovered that interruptions were my work.”  Could it be that the daily interruptions that so often irritate us are moments of great value?  Moments of God-value.

Today, as your interruptions come, look at Jesus … and do what He would do!


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