An Interrupted Life – Christina Fox
One thing I often say to my kids is “remember to be flexible!” Especially with a baby in the home, I need them to understand that as soon as I announce our plans for the day that those plans might change at any given hour. “Be flexible,” I remind them, “remember sometimes our day changes.” The baby may need a nap. The weather might dictate a different plan. The lunch hour might sneak up on us.
But I wonder how often I tell myself to be flexible. Of course, it’s easy for me to remind the kids that circumstances might change – since, obviously, those hinge on my very own prerogative. I can patiently explain to them the reasoning for the “new plan” and encourage them to accept it with “a happy heart” (oh my) because I am controlling the Plan B.
But what about when other people or circumstances alter or interrupt my own life? And I am not in control at all…then it can be difficult to swallow my own medicine. (“Be flexible. Have a happy heart.”)
I loved this piece from a blog of Desiring God.org by Christina Fox. She wrote about her vacation plans being interrupted, which I imagine is so very disappointing. And she writes about how we can redeem the interruptions, inconveniences, frustrations, etc. that make flexibility and acceptance so necessary (but so hard).
When God Interrupts Your Plans
We were recently on a vacation when God interrupted my plans. My family and I had traveled hundreds of miles to stay at a hotel on the beach. I had made arrangements to spend one day visiting with friends. But then, in the middle of the night, the night before my scheduled day out, one of my kids woke up sick. I spent the whole next day stuck inside, staring out the hotel window at the long stretch of beach that was just outside of my reach.
An Interrupted Life
My life is filled with interruptions, inconveniences, frustrations, and unexpected events. Things break. Accidents happen. The phone rings just as I climb into bed. Traffic makes me late. Just when we don’t need another added expense, an appliance breaks. Unexpected illnesses change my carefully crafted plans. I could go on and on. You probably could too.
The problem is, I usually handle these interruptions to my life poorly. I react with frustration and anger. Like a young child, I want to stomp my feet and say, “It’s not fair!” I blame others for inconveniencing me. I’ll even throw my own pity-parties.
Though these interruptions are unexpected and catch me off guard, they do not catch God off guard. They are not random, meaningless events. In fact, these interruptions are divinely placed in my path for a reason. God uses these interruptions to change me to be more like Christ.
Slow traffic, a sick child, or a costly home repair may not seem like important tools in our sanctification, but they are. We often overlook these interruptions and inconveniences and instead expect God to work in our lives through huge life-changing circumstances. But the reality is, we won’t often have major events in our life that cause us to trust God and obey him in some deeply profound way. We won’t be called to build an ark or take an only child up Mt. Moriah. Rather, it’s in these small frustrations and interruptions, the little things in our life, where we are given opportunities to rely on God, to obey him, and bring him glory.