Prepare To Be Interrupted
It was a week of interruptions, and it began with her loss. My heart carried her grief-burden, just as the hearts of so many others did, too. (Even if you do not know her, would you think of her, pray for her, send her a kind word as you are prompted?)
My own minor, and significantly less painful, interruption came a few days later. It was a much-anticipated moment: my oldest daughter and I were finally going to see The Nutcracker Ballet. Less than two hours until showtime, I took a long look at the tickets and saw they were for a performance in a city…four…hours…away. There in my hands, I held the you’ve-got-to-be-flippin’-kidding-me mistake. Then came mascara rivers and gasps for air, overwhelming disappointment, and a little girl’s sad eyes. And just like that, Christmas Joy was hijacked.
These two events—the one that devastated and changed lives forever, and the other that I’m learning to laugh about—got me thinking about all the interruptions of the last year. So often as we wrap up a year and look forward to the next one, we make our “best of” lists—our highlights of the year on parade. But what if—and it’s a big what if—we instead took notice of our interruptions?
If I’m truly honest, I’ll have to admit every new year of my adult life has begun with high expectations. Coincidentally, I have ended every year by assessing the disappointments that laid me low. This is not a pattern I’m content to have on repeat. Not any more. Not after waking and joy and all the interruptions of the last year.
So to start 2012 off properly, I’m changing things up with this singular charge to myself: prepare to be interrupted.
Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not saying this in a Chicken Little, “The sky is falling!” kind of way. (Although, let’s be honest, some of the interruptions that are coming down next year’s pike might very well feel like the expanse above has landed squarely upon us.)
But what I’m getting at is this: what would it really look like if you and I anticipated that God would lovingly interpose in a thousand little ways (or perhaps in fewer, weightier doses)? How would we receive those things previously viewed as disappointments if we really believed it was God himself teaching, training, loving, changing, and calling us into something more or out of something less?
Makes me think I should add a second phrase to the charge: and choose gratitude when life feels upended.
Perhaps this time next year, I will mull over 2012 and present to you a list of the interruptions that rearranged me.
Gobsmacked and Grateful. Won’t you join me in this venture?