I was thinking about images for this word on the list for creative Lenten meditations when I ran into a prime example in front of my own apartment building. Two large construction projects a block on either side of our building mean the road is frequently closed, but not usually at the same time. Today they were. One building going up is for commercial purposes. The other is a dense housing development. That’s not going to improve traffic around here. Another even bigger development a block to the northeast is expected to start within the year. Oh boy. I may never be able to turn left on Springfield. I had a moment of panic when I thought about more cars and more people blocking the roads and beeping construction vehicles in reverse interrupting our peaceful life. (Well, relatively peaceful. Noise is a constant when you live on one of the three blocks between two major arteries.) Then I got to thinking.
We moved to this location because we were planning ahead for the day when neither of us may be able to drive. At the time we purchased our condo, we hadn’t heard of “the fifteen minute city” but essentially, that is what we were looking for – a neighbourhood where all our most commonly needed services were accessible on foot. I can’t really complain about more people moving into an area called “City Central” when we moved in ourselves only eighteen months ago.
I was talking to a friend who was part of a rapidly growing – explosively growing—church after God started doing amazing things in their midst. Parking became hard to find, the bathrooms were overworked, cleaning staff was exhausted, and tithe-paying members of the congregation couldn’t find a seat even when they arrived an hour early. She said they noticed that people on the volunteer ministry teams had reserved parking, and that’s how they got into ministry. Step up or miss out. They stepped up and have been blessed by opportunities for growth ever since. They are still active in ministry.
Sometimes interruptions mess with our plans. Sometimes our plans need to be messed with. Anger is often the result of something being demanded or taken from us without our consent. People interrupted Jesus when he was on his way to do something important. He stopped and healed them on the way. The story of the woman with the issue of blood and the story of blind Bartimaeus and the story of mothers upsetting the disciples’ agenda by bringing their children to Jesus for blessing are examples of this. We know because their stories were important enough to be included in a record of Jesus’ life and times.
What if the reasons for these interruptions in the neighbourhood are signs, not of the place going downhill, but of the place rising up? What if, like the crowds following Jesus, we stopped and made a time and place for other people like us who arrived only 75 weeks ago? What if my response to “road closed” and “detour” was to happily make room for more locals instead of complaining about delays in my plans? What if blessing these construction projects is a better, less selfish response to sharing love in a community that sees beyond my own priorities and makes room for others?
Lord, teach me to see the big picture. Teach me to love the way you love.
4 thoughts on “Interruption”
Good conviction. This same thing is happening nearly in our backyard…within about two blocks.
It takes some adjusting, doesn’t it?
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Charis, change is never easy, especially when we like things to be comfortable. There are some things that God has asked me to change that I have resisted. Recently, he pointed out to me that change is repentance. It is a great thing but sometimes the focus goes to the wrong things, the mess, not our Good Shepherd. He wants to take us to green pastures, with other flocks of sheep. Blessings during the transition!
Yes. Focus on the Good Shepherd!
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