This past week was missions week at our church. We had missionaries visiting us from several countries around the world-some of whom had been serving basically a lifetime, some just a couple or few years. If I'm honest, this week was one I always tried to get out of as a kid. I'd find some excuse not to go hear the missionaries speak. I was totally uninterested in learning about the native food and dress of unreached people groups--as we often did in the children's time with these missionaries.
But now--now that I can hear their stories, and as an adult and a mother can understand some of the fears and questions and hardships they must be experiencing on a daily basis--I can't get enough of these people! Yesterday I had the privilege of hearing stories from a couple who serve in Rome, another in Sudan, and then two young, college-aged girls who said yes to the Lord and left their comfortable little worlds to serve in an orphanage in Botswana. One of the girls told her then-boyfriend, now-fiancé that he would just have to wait for a while--the Lord wanted her in Botswana. Wow.
One of the things this girl shared with us yesterday was some wisdom she had received from a fellow missionary. She had asked the more seasoned worker what her advice would be as far as how to keep going on the mission field--and the woman replied "Be interruptible. That is the most important advice I could give you."
That hit me like a ton of bricks. Because if there is one thing I am not, it's interruptable. Oh, I try. I really do. But I fail miserably. When I am home with my little boy, and I am so focused on getting the dishes washed that I don't take the time to sit down and help him stack cups, simply because he loves it. Or when I miss the delight on his face at the lights on the tiny little Christmas tree in his room because I am too busy folding clothes. Or when perhaps I don't delve a little deeper with a patient who seems like they might be having a bad day--because I'm not doing so great today myself, thank you very much, and I just can't stop and invest time in that person right now, because I am tired, and so busy. So busy.
Shame on me.
This verse comes to mind: "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, He hears us. And if we know that he hears us--whatever we ask--we know that we have what we asked of him." 1 John 5:14-15. There are lots of amazing things you could talk about regarding this verse, but right now what jumps out at me is that if we are asking according to his will, HE HEARS US. God doesn't say, "Take a number y'all, I'll get to you after I heal this person of cancer, or set the moon in the sky for the night, or paint the sunset for that girl who really needs it today." Not AFTER all that. But right now. In his omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence, he can do that. He can hear my prayer and yours, and a million others, all at the same time. And give the same amount of loving care and tenderness to each of us little ones.
That is incredible.
And since I want to be like Him, I need to strive for that same "interruptability". Of course I cannot be all of the "omnis" that I just listed. But I can set the dishes down and plop down on the floor with my little boy, and be the hands and feet and joy of Jesus to him. I can take the time to ask the deeper questions of patients, and in so doing share the love and tenderness of Christ with them.
I have a REALLY long way to go. But I am going to strive to be interruptible.