Not Now!

Not Now!

How many interruptions do you have in a day?

If you are a mother, the number is probably quite high. However, we all face interruptions to our work and leisure, whether or not we have children.

A question that has been on my mind a lot is: ‘how should I respond?’

An interruption, by its nature, disrupts the flow of what we are doing. Though we might come to expect them, we can’t know exactly when or how they will present themselves – making a good response tricky.

Recently, I came across the story of the prophet Elisha. He was once interrupted in the middle of his work and his response showed remarkable faith.

In 1 Kings 19:16, God tells Elijah to find Elisha and anoint him to be the next prophet. Elijah finds him plowing a field and throws his cloak over him. Elisha immediately stops what he is doing.

1 Kings 19:20 says, ‘Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah.’ He even goes on to burn his plow and cook the oxen!

Personally, if I start a job I like to get it finished. Ecclesiastes 7:8 says ‘the end of a matter is better than its beginning’. There is a lot to be said for seeing something through to the end.

However, there are also times where we need to be willing to walk away from a job, if God calls us to another more important task.

Elisha’s new role, as prophet to Israel, was obviously a very vital one. Perhaps that made it easier for him to walk away so abruptly.

What if a child asks for help with something and you’re cooking dinner? Or a colleague is upset, needing assistance, and you’re in the middle of something urgent? Do we stop what we’re doing, or say ‘not now’?

Shouting, ‘cant you see I’m in the middle of something?’ is probably not a good response (though sadly one I’ve been guilty of).

I’m still trying to figure out the answers myself – each situation is different and calls for patience, wisdom and love, if we are always to respond well.

The good news is that the above are all gifts God gives us through His Holy Spirit, if we ask Him.

We can start each day calling out to the Holy Spirit to be with us and help us in every moment. We can keep trying, and keep saying sorry when we get things wrong.

When we do get a good idea of what God wants us to do in any given moment, lets be like Elisha, and act on it right away.

Making room for interruptions

A way I have made myself more open to interruptions is by having one school day a week where we have no schedule – Thursday.

It allows us to catch up with any school work that we may have missed earlier in the week – because of unavoidable interludes. It also gives us time to explore interests, and usually involves painting and nature walks.

How do you cope with interruptions? Please share in the comments below.

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