Monday, October 13, 2008

Interruptions, Delays and Inconveniences

Today At the Well is being hosted by Lori at I Will Take It Lord... and the topic is "Interruptions, Delays and Inconveniences". This discussion is about how Titus 2 reminds us to ..."to be kind," but are we really as kind as we can be in our daily lives or are we so focused that we only see the interruptions, delays and inconveniences as frustrations instead of the opportunities that lie in them for God to reveal Himself.
The questions are:
How do you handle interruptions in your days? Do you plow right on over them missing opportunities God has placed on your path? What interruptions frustrate you the most? How are you working to overcome that?
Let me quickly confess with my answers: I do not handle interruptions well, and yes, I plow right over God given opportunities and almost any interruption frustrates me. There, I feel better! Now, what am I doing to overcome this?
As Chelsea mentioned in her post on this topic, I am a firstborn, firstborns are wired to be organized and efficient, it is just what we do. We stay focused on a task and get it done. Interruptions hinder progress. In my early mother years, the house absolutely HAD to be clean. There were things to do - always. There was no time for play except at a scheduled time, when the work was done. As I look back, I regretfully realized I missed many joyous opportunities with my children.
When the children grew older I got a job as a church secretary. I was a hard worker, staying busy through the day completing my work. The only problem was the telephone - it rang all day long! But the thing I began to realize was the needs on the other end could be urgent and needed full attention. You never know who is on the other end of the phone. It may be a salesman, it may be an elderly person calling in a prayer request, it may be someone needing to talk or it may be a crisis. These were the calls that changed my mindset about interruptions. Through the years, desperate calls have been answered by those who were in a marital crisis, who were at the end of their rope financially, who had a loved one in the hospital right then, emergency situations, someone who had just had a loved one pass away... it became apparent that the phone and the opportunities and necessity to move quickly to help deal with these situations overrode my work schedule. As the Lord chipped away my hardness and ignorance in this area, I began to ask Him to show me ways how to minister to others. I realized that interruptions could be viewed as opportunities to show kindness, patience and love. And these opportunities are everywhere.
This lesson most importantly belongs in the home. It never fails, the minute I sit down at the computer, or get on the telephone, someone needs something! So, I have learned to use the firstborn skills to cover things. Before I get on the computer or do something that needs full attention, I make sure the needs are met. The most important thing for me and the one that takes the most effort and concentration is the response! When stopped mid task and asked for a favor - respond graciously - what is more important, the task or the family member and the opportunity to show them their importance in my heart? The response should be happy, not a sigh or a heavy breath ( I have done this!), but a smile and a positive word - "sure" etc.
In a book I read once, it was suggested to first thing in the morning pray over the day - the planned activities and the unplanned things that will come up and the opportunities will be recognized and seized! May God bless and ordain all our days and all our interruptions!

8 comments:

  1. What a great study. Like you I am
    a first born. My mother had us so
    far apart that at times my siblings
    though I was their mother. I still
    think I am incharge, and I think they just let me think it. Your
    post was right on time.

    Sarah June
    A day in the Word

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  2. "...what is more important, the task or the family member and the opportunity to show them their importance in my heart?"

    So true, those at home or in our extended family are just as important to minister to as those outside the home. It's too easy to take them for granted if we are not careful. Great post :)

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  3. I'm beginning to think that ALL of us at The Well today are first borns:) LOL!

    "I realized that interruptions could be viewed as opportunities to show kindness, patience and love. And these opportunities are everywhere." What wisdom in those words...I'm learning too...I'm learning how to use my "first born" skills too....

    Wonderful post!
    peace,
    lori

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  4. I agree with Kat. "...what is more important, the task or the family member and the opportunity to show them their importance in my heart?" It gives me a new perspective on how they feel when I respond poorly to their interruptions. Great thoughts.

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  5. Praying over the delay...I love it. A great idea!

    Something you wrote really caught my attention regarding our response to interruptions. "The response should be happy, not a sigh or a heavy breath ( I have done this!), but a smile and a positive word - "sure" etc."

    Thank you for that reminder. Our non-verbal reaction to interruptions can really do a lot of damage. I need to remember thta. (I am a sigher.)

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  6. Thank you so much for your prayers.

    I am still looking for a church home. Our old pastor has been healed of cancer and is giving his
    testimony. I have been going where
    ever he is speaking. However this
    is not the same as having a home
    church.

    June
    A day in the Word

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  7. Wow thanks for sharing your thoughts on this subject of interruptions...oh hang on a minute...I'm back...I got interrupted for a moment! haha just kidding, but I sooo loved what you had to say about ministering to those in our home - the sighs and disgruntled looks for being interrupted could do so much damage. It is so easy to minister to those outside our house but you have reminded me that my ministry begins at home. -Blessings.

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  8. Well....I'm not a first-born...I'm actually the baby, but being the spaz that I was (and still can be), I didn't need to be the first-born...if I was....oh, now let's not think about that since I was already so overly OCD! HA!

    GREAT Post! Thank you for your transparency and sharing your heart on how God has tendered your spirit and is continuing to mold it into Christ-likeness!

    Bless you sister!
    Sunny

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Thank you for sharing your commment. It is a joy and blessing to hear from you and your words are appreciated.