“Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God,” Psalm 46:10 (The Message)
“Be still and know that I am God …” Psalm 46:10 (NIV)
“We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming …”
I guarantee you that each time you hear this, it comes at the most inconvenient time. Growing up this announcement usually came during the crucial conversation of a favorite show or the last play of the game I was looking forward to all week.
Life interrupted …
Interruptions, by their nature, do not always come when planned. They are true to their definition of breaking the continuity of continuous process of an activity or process. Interruptions alter plans, cause you to change directions and adjust. It calls for flexibility and grace.
Did I say that interruptions come at the most inconvenient time?
Life interrupted …
For the past several months, our lives have been interrupted. The multiple pandemics fits the definition of interruption in that it has broken the continuity of our continuous process of an activity or process. It has altered plans, caused us to change directions and adjust. My pastor shared that one of the things we need to release is pre-COVID-19 expectations. We are in a season that calls us to lean on flexibility and grace. We do not need to worry about making space for interruptions. Interruptions make their own space.
But there are lessons in the interruptions.
Make space for interruptions.
I usually travel on a regular basis, however, that has been interrupted. Several weeks ago, I flew for the first time in four months. There was a stillness within the usually bustling airport. The flight attendants reminded us that the boarding process would be slower so that we could socially distance. When we arrived at our destination, we were reminded to wait until the passenger in front of us was six feet in front of us. She said, “Make extra space, move at a slower pace and we’ll all get to our designated place.” I looked at the social distance reminders throughout the airports. I saw the symbol and reflected.
Life has been interrupted, and we are called to make extra space. We have had to slow down our hurried pace, and we have to extend ourselves and others flexibility and grace.
But there are lessons in the midst of the interruptions.
This life interruption has taught me several lessons. One of the lessons is to be still and receive.
Be still and receive … The two most difficult things for someone who is a goer and giver ... Someone like me.
During this season, sheltering in place and other restrictions have made us slow down. It is a challenge and an opportunity. I have had to slow down, be still and receive. And no, it never comes at a convenient time … Never … It meant a change of plans, letting go, repositioning and adjustments.
But in the midst, it is an opportunity for deepening relationships, intentional time and dialogue. It gives us opportunities to find ways to encourage and share with each other. This interruption reminds us that the church is not confined to a physical place, but we the people are the church and occupy every space.
Making space for interruptions,
Rev. Sheila P. Spencer