The following article was also published in The Vermilion Standard.
Be honest…interruptions are annoying! Whether it is an interruption in your schedule, an interruption in the middle of a great night sleep, an interruption to your travel plans by a flight delay or an unscheduled construction detour, interruptions can be very annoying.
We are trained to hate interruptions. Consequently, we have “do not disturb” options on our cell phones, office phones and signs for our hotel rooms. We have been conditioned to see interruptions as negative, unpleasant and unwelcomed detours in our scheduled lives. All that being said, what if all interruptions are not bad? What if our conditioned despise for interruptions has made us ignorant of what God might be doing around us?
As we prepare for Christmas, I want to reflect on a passage of Scripture where an interruption was welcomed, leading to some everyday people experiencing the extraordinary and being changed as a result. I want to reflect on the story of the angel’s interruption to the shepherds on the night of Jesus’ birth.
In the biblical account of Jesus’s birth (Luke 2), we find a group of shepherds tending their flocks. They were working the night shift, doing what they normally did. They were protecting and watching over their sheep by night. In midst of the ordinary, the extraordinary happens. Breaking into the darkness is the shining light from the Glory of God and an angel who announces that the Savior has been born in Bethlehem.
When the angel leaves, the scripture says that the shepherds decide to go out of their way and look for this child. Upon their arrival in the small town of Bethlehem, they discover things exactly as the angel described. The scripture then describes that they praised God and amazed many people with the stories of the things they saw and witnessed.
Imagine if the shepherds were not open to being interrupted. Imagine what they would have missed. Throughout the scriptures, we discover that God often works through interruptions; God is an experienced interrupter.
Are you open to being interrupted? What if the ‘annoyances’ of interruptions this Christmas were the very path towards seeing and experiencing something extraordinary? In the Bible, extraordinary things happen to ordinary people all the time – it is how our God works and in in his working, he uses interruptions as opportunities.
What are the interruptions God has planned for you this Christmas? Are you prepared to embrace them as possible opportunities for the extraordinary to break into your ordinary?