I can’t remember who it was that once said that being a pastor is a ministry of interruptions (maybe Wayne? but I’m not sure…). He described a typical day in his earlier days of being a pastor. His plans were to spend a couple hours in study, then a couple more in sermon preparation before attending an afternoon meeting. Noble goals, to be sure. He said that he used to get frustrated with the steady stream of interruptions that took over his day: perhaps unexpected hospital visits, congregation members calling to disagree with something in the sermon, or e-mail after e-mail detailing lengthy prayer requests to add to the prayer meeting’s agenda.
But gradually, God made it clear to him that all of these interruptions weren’t getting in the way of his ministry, they were his ministry, and from then on he did his best to welcome whatever God allowed to come into his day, knowing that it was one of God’s ways of showing him what was most in need of his attention at that moment. Of course the sermon still had to get written, the meetings still had to be attended, but whatever came in between was equally worthy of his time and energy. Obviously, since he thought it was worth sharing with us, this isn’t only true for pastors.
Every day that we are at home, a wonderful thing happens at around 2 o’clock. The babies go down for a nap, and Pippa, after a short bit of alone time with Mommy, goes to her playroom for some “quiet time.” Peace and tranquility settle over our home, and I settle into my to-do list for the afternoon. Today, I had hoped to get done three eBay listings and two blog posts (this was not one of them, by the way). As I type this, it is almost 4:30, I need to start thinking about dinner, Pippa is watching Big Cook, Little Cook on DVD, the little ones will be up any minute, and I have not done a single thing on my list.
The good news is, that’s okay! In the last two hours, I have sent an e-mail to Trevor (he likes that, and I don’t do it enough), talked to my mother-in-law on the phone (love her!), taken Pippa to the bathroom no less than four times (quiet time, schmiet time!), read and replied to an e-mail from my dear friend Carol, and oh! I did start an eBay listing as well.
It would be easy to think that I didn’t get anything done today, but I know that I have done what God had for me to do this afternoon. Ephesian 2:10 tells me this:
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
It is a valuable thing for me to remember that God prepares the good works He has for me each day, and I don’t. Of course there is value in having a plan for how to spend my time (goodness, I’d lose the whole day playing on the Internet otherwise, and sometimes do anyway!) I love knowing, though, that when an “interruption” arises, whether a welcome phone call or message from a dear friend or a little girl just needing a minute with Mommy, that it is from the Lord, and every bit as worthy of my time as what I wanted to accomplish. Maybe more.