Living in the Interruptions

What a day this has been. At one point I thought tomorrow must be Saturday. Today is still Tuesday. I had planned to do other things. I have so many things on my To Do List, I just need to take the time to do what business leaders call a brain dump. A brain dump is the act of emptying your mind of all the stuff you have in your head. The process encourages you to take a legal pad and write down every little thing that you need to accomplish, covering all personal and professional chores. Every nagging deadline plus all the other things you have committed to do for others. Everything until you can think of nothing else—that is until you take a walk around the block. Then do it some more. I find it a helpful way of seeing what is important. 

I once visited a man who was working in his home workshop in the backyard. I noticed his wall calendar was from 1963. Every few years the calendar matched the exact days of the current year. He said that the old calendar was good enough. He was retired. My life does not seem to work that way. I carry a journal with a handy multi-year calendar where I map out future sermons and reminders. I have a calendar in the car to record my daily mileage and note special trips. I work with the church’s master calendar of scheduled events and building usage. I have three electronic calendars for everyday commitments and appointments. Those calendars do not talk easily with each other. So I’m trying to develop a Master Calendar of Everything, but my low-tech self is still trying to schedule a day to start it.  I am still learning to embrace the interruptions of my perfectly planned days. 

I take my clue from Mark chapter 5 which chronicles one day in Jesus’ ministry. His schedule for the day was to take a boat ride across the lake, visit some of the villages, then head back. It turned out to be one crazy day of interruptions “as He was going.” I am also mindful of the story Jesus told of the religious leaders who were too busy, too clean, or too important to stop and help an injured man on the side of the road. They ignored their interruptions and failed to even acknowledge the presenting need. Jesus valued people above schedules, and relationships above calendars. 

Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Value the interruptions. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.

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