So last week I shared this post on the On Becoming Esther facebook page...
...and it obviously resonated, because according to facebook stats it was one of my most-read posts ever!
All the scheduling and planning in the world doesn't change the fact that life is messy and often busy, unpredictable and full of interruptions. But here's what I've discovered - real life actually happens in the interruptions. Moments that take our breath away and fill our days with beauty are found in the places where we throw away our schedules and agendas and choose to be fully present; open to what God is wanting to show us.
On the same day that I posted the pic of Lucas enjoying my so-called 'quiet time', I had a to-do list that I probably needed a few days (or weeks!) to actually be able to achieve. Before getting stuck into it, I had paused and written this prayer in my journal:
Jesus, today is very full but I thank You that Your grace is sufficient. Keep me mindful and aware of You and may I not be too busy to show Your compassion, Your kindness, Your gentleness and patience to others. And above all may I be humble and teachable before Your throne. (My paraphrase of Colossians 3:12)
I was saying - God I give you permission to order my day, to interrupt my plans with what you think really matters. Prayers like this are always dangerous - because make no mistake, God will make sure that there are opportunities to put them into action!
So, in between naps and work commitments, Lucas and I made a mad dash to the supermarket to get what we needed for Misha's birthday party that was happening that night. Let me be VERY clear - I wanted to get in and out as fast as I could! But as I was walking through the mall I locked eyes with an elderly gentleman who was smiling at Lucas, and I felt compelled to stop and let him say hello to my little guy. It was only a few minutes and there were no meaningful words exchanged, but as I said goodbye he said something that both humbled and challenged me. His farewell to me was, "Thank you for giving me the gift of your time."
It occurred to me as I reflected back on my day that perhaps the single most important thing that I had done was not to tick off my to-do list, but to let myself be interrupted. That the simple act of pausing and showing kindness had been a gift in someone else's day that could not be measured - and it was a moment that I could have far too easily have missed had I rushed on my way.
Jesus did not allow Himself to get distracted by other people's agendas and timetables, but He did allow Himself to be interrupted.
He let the children come, when the disciples thought He had more important things to do.
He paused to acknowledge and encourage the woman who had been healed by touching His garment, even though He was on His way to a dying child.
He had compassion on the crowds who had gone ahead of Him, and stopped to teach them even though He had intended to find a place of quiet and rest for Him and the disciples.
His life was punctuated with compassion, kindness, gentleness and infinite patience and He invites us to follow in His footsteps.
Interruptions can be places of beauty and blessing. They can be the very moments that God infuses His grace into our lives and the lives of those around us if we will choose to make ourselves available to Him in the messiness and busyness of life.
Give the world the gift of your time today - the gift of you.
Live today with purpose.
One of my favourite pass-times as a kid was writing. I used to make my own books and write poetry on our old type-writer. Thankfully both my writing and technology have come a long way!
It is my prayer that these posts from both myself and guest contributors encourage you to embrace the season that you are in and to live it with purpose for God's glory.
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