Monday, June 15, 2009
“We interrupt the regularly scheduled programming for this special announcement.” I remember the first time I heard that. I was watching the coverage of the 1960 summer Olympics on a black and white TV. It’s all we had back in the old days. Cassius Clay was boxing for the gold medal. The fight had just started when our local station interrupted the broadcast for a breaking news story that was of absolutely no interest to a seven-year-old boy. By the time the announcement was over, so was the fight, and I missed it. I was so mad. It wouldn’t be a big deal for me today – I’d just go to the internet and watch it. But back then, it was my one and only chance to see it. In fact, to this day I’ve never seen it.
“I interrupt the regularly scheduled devotional for this special announcement.” You were expecting the next devotional in First Peter, weren’t you? Well, maybe tomorrow. For today, there’s been an interruption.
Interruptions. I’ve learned to embrace them. They used to upset me. My plans were my plans. I understand better now the plans the God has for me. They include interruptions. In fact, sometimes, like recently, the interruptions tend to become the norm.
I’ve twice made a statement in the past two weeks that disturbs me, because it indicates I really don’t accept the interruptions. “I just want my life back.” The interruptions have become the norm, and I liked what was normal before.
I know what I need – trust. My flesh says run away. My mind says escape. My spirit, however, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, says wait. Oh, how I need that word today – WAIT! I confess to allowing the weight of interruptions to make me impatient. When circumstances of life don’t fit my plans and weigh heavy on me, I tend to try and take control. I jump into fix-it mode really quickly. I’m realizing that I really like things the way I like them, so don’t interrupt them. I’m also realizing how wrong that is, and how much of God’s plans for me I must miss because I get in the way.
It’s especially hard when I’m in a leadership position, and people look to me for direction. My pride gets confused with God’s plans. At that moment, I know I need to step back and wait so I can distinguish God’s plans from mine. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in leadership by not doing that, and pushing ahead impulsively. I’ve learned that by waiting, my plans will begin to lose their importance, but the plans of God will get more important.
I’m at that place right now. My personality makes it incredibly hard to step back and wait. It’s not a natural tendency for me to sit and be still, as it is for some of you. My leadership style is to be visionary and push to accomplish it. And when it’s not working, then fix it. But right now, I can’t push anymore and I feel like I can’t fix anymore. The interruptions have overwhelmed me. So, I’m going into wait mode. I want to see the interruptions as God’s plans for me, so I must wait until my plans fade away. Then I’ll be able to see His plans more clearly. Right now, everything seems like a huge weight. I’m learning that when the weight increases, I must increase my wait.
So for me, and for those of you who are in similar situations in your life right now, I share these familiar but much needed passages of Scripture. I’m going to trust them as the promise of God for me. You may need to do the same.
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40)
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 29)