How do you respond to interruptions? Do you embrace them and go on with your day or do you growl under your breath and try to see how to side step them. Many times in our life ministry opportunities knock at our door disguised as interruptions. How we respond may mean the difference between being used by God or not.
Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” That’s what happened as trains rumbled down the tracks full of Jews headed for Auschwitz. Few protested. Evil prevailed and thousands upon thousands lost their lives. Maybe they didn’t know someone personally who was aboard one of the trains. It hadn’t reached their family, so they didn’t want to get involved. How could they not? How can we not?
Today, the issue at hand is human trafficking. None of us can do everything needed to bring an end to the issue, but all of us can do something in the fight. There are approximately twenty seven millions modern day slaves in our world today and that’s a conservative estimate. Thousands of those live in the boarders of the United States. These are our daughters, our nieces, our neighbors. They are the little girls who dreamed of becoming doctors, lawyers, missionaries and teachers. Never did one of them dream of becoming a slave. We have to take a stand. We have to unite. We must become one voice for Hope and demand this atrocity against our children be stopped. In order to do so, we must allow our life to be interrupted.
Jesus tells His disciples the story of the good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37. A man was beaten and left in the ditch for dead [Luke 10:30]. We’re never told what the man’s life was before he was attacked. We’re not told if he made a poor choice that brought him to that part of town or if he bragged about the amount of money he was carrying. We don’t know. If it was important, Jesus would have told us, but He didn’t. What mattered to Jesus was peoples’ response to a human being in need, not how the man arrived at his point of need.
The priest and the Levite, the church people, both moved around him and continued on their way [Luke 10:31-32]. The very people who should have been the first ones on the scene walked around him. Does that bother you? It bothers me.
“But a Samaritan…” Keep in mind, Jesus is speaking to Jewish people when He tells this story. They did not hold Samaritans in high regard at all. Jews wouldn’t eat with Samaritans. They loathed them. The Samaritan didn’t just stop, he tended to the man’s wounds, he took the man to safety, and paid for the man’s care out of his own pocket [Luke 10:33-35]. His journey was interrupted. He got involved and it cost him something, but he refused to pass by and ignore the situation. He refused to ignore the man in need. When Jesus finished telling the story, He tells the people to “Go and do likewise.”
Christine Caine said, “Compassion is never compassion until you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and cross the street.” Too many times we’re so focused on our plans, even our ministries, and we fail to see opportunities to minister right before us. We view them as obstacles and interruptions rather than assignments. We have to cross the street! We have to be willing to have our days interrupted.
How have you responded to interruptions in the past? Do you think any of those times could have been God ordained assignments you failed to recognize? Don’t beat yourself up. Our God is the God of second chances (and third, and forth…). As my daddy says, “You can’t saw sawdust.” How you responded in the past isn’t nearly as important as how you’ll respond today. Will you choose to be interrupted? Will you roll your sleeves up? Will you cross the street?