Disrupt. This word stuck out to me way back in late December when I was reading the book, Puppies for Dummies. As our family prepared to bring a puppy home in late February, 2020, I highlighted the line, “Most dogs are highly intelligent and only require word discipline when potty training, never physical discipline. If you suspect your puppy is planning to “go” in a non-potty area, make a loud sound to disrupt the puppy's thought process, then pick him up and take him to the correct area.”
I had no idea at the time why the word, disrupt, stuck out to me; except that I’m a word nerd and it’s not abnormal for me to stop everything to look up a word’s definition when one strikes my interest. The dictionary defines the word disrupt as:
1) Interrupt (an event, activity, or process) by causing a disturbance or problem
2) Drastically alter or destroy the structure of something
The words disrupt and interrupt can be used interchangeably. Has anyone’s events, activities or processes been interrupted this week? Has the structure of anything in your life been drastically altered or destroyed? Yeah, me too. It’s all been interrupted AND disrupted right? Our schedules, routines, plans, work, school, sleep; nothing has been left untouched.
In seminary a professor once said, “Ministry is in the interruptions.” If you’re a Christ-follower, you’re in ministry, and chances are, you’ve been interrupted. I’ve also heard the phrase, “Motherhood is in the interruptions,” I can attest to this as my five-year-old son just came up to me as I’m writing this blog; thrusting a plastic Star Wars walkie-talkie into my face and commanding me to, “Talk.”
There have been beautiful interruptions too, with the kids out of school and at home, we’ve been doing a morning devotional together. My eight-year-old daughter was reading Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids and was instructed to look up Matthew 6:34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” She looked at me with huge eyes and asked, “Mom! How did this book know we were dealing with worry?!” She even looked at the copyright page to see when it was published. 2010. We then got to talk about how the Bible was written over 2,000 years ago, and it’s just as relevant today as when it was originally written. What a gift of a conversation. One we wouldn’t have had if she’d been in school that morning.
How will we handle being interrupted? With grace, patience, love, empathy, understanding? Or impatience, frustration, attempts to grasp at control? My guess? We’ll vacillate between all of these options. Sometimes in the same day. Sometimes in the same hour. One moment we’ll nail it. We’ll rise up to the occasion and represent Christ so beautifully to those around us and others watching. Other times, our anxious thoughts, lack of sleep, and too much strolling will show and we’ll snap at people we love who we’ve seen a lot of lately. Let’s hold onto God’s grace and give ourselves grace. Let’s remember that we’re all living lives interrupted.
As Pastor Doug says, “Eyes Up.”
by Kelly Russell, Connections Coordinator, Ventura Missionary Church