I love a list. There is an aspect of my personality that enjoys organization, tidiness and order. Seeing a list with items checked off at the end of the day somehow energizes me. I wonder if that’s how David felt as he amassed materials for building the temple? (1 Chronicles 22:14) “Solomon, here it is: 4,000 tons of gold. Check. 40,000 tons of silver. Check. Iron, bronze, timber, stone, check.”
There is nothing wrong with a plan, as long as we remember it must serve us, and not the other way around. How many of us have started a day, eager to complete the daily tasks, only to be annoyed by an interruption? The phone rings and it’s a frustrated friend. A text arrives with another demand. A colleague wanders in wanting to chat. All of these things can be viewed as interruptions – problems that keep us from completing that list and fulfilling our plan.
We all live with the tension of the competing demands of family, work and friends. What’s most important? The job? The friend? Our spouse? How do we balance all of these things? 1 Corinthians 2:12 tells us we have received God’s spirit, and verses 14 and 15 remind us that the Spirit will help us to evaluate all things. In verse 16, we read that we have the mind of Christ. What does this mean in light of our plan?
It means we hold all our plans loosely, recognizing that God is the master planner and he always knows best. It means when we don’t know what to do on our own, we ask the master and listen for his still small voice. Sometimes that will mean arranging to meet a friend after work for coffee and keep on ticking items off our list. Other times, it means we need to take our coffee break immediately and spend time with a hurting colleague. Occasionally, we may need to set aside our plans entirely and deal with the “interruption.”
I have come to realize that very often what I view as an interruption is the most important thing I will do all day. Go ahead and make your list. But be ready for the divine appointments disguised as interruptions.
Elder, wife, mother, gardener and great neighbour in her community