Brian Draper, in his excellent Lent40 reflections, reminded me of something I included in my book ‘Maybe Tomororow’ on pages 100/101.
It’s a book of thoughts, prayers and smiles for the end of each day:
Will I ever get this thought written? Each time I’ve made a start something has happened. The phone rang, someone called at the door, I received a text message, and emails kept pinging as they arrived demanding attention – as if there’s nothing else to do but respond instantly! I’m slowly learning to switch email off, put the mobile on silent, focus on just one thing at a time, and try to rein in my tendency to multi-task. Yet, despite my best efforts, frustrating disruptions can still come. This leaves my ‘To Do’ list as long at the end of the day as it was at the beginning.
Whilst it’s important to address what the author Tony Schwartz calls my ‘poverty of attention’, it’s interesting how sometimes unexpected and irritating nuisances can turn out to be important. Scheduled tasks may get delayed, but some interruptions end up being the real business of the day.
You’ll be glad to know this sort of thing happened to Jesus too. You may remember His conversation with a rich young man. The Lord had been teaching the crowds, but the time came for Him to leave the house where He was staying to head for Jerusalem. Mark tells us that an interruption came as Jesus ‘started on his way’ (Mark 10:17). Then Luke points out that it was a ‘young synagogue ruler’ who eagerly approached the Lord, fell at His feet, addressed Him respectfully as ‘good teacher’, and then posed a question. Jesus could’ve said, ‘Sorry, not now, I’m busy and I’ve got to go.’ But He didn’t. Instead, He gave His time and attention and the interruption prompted some significant and challenging teaching for all those listening.
Maybe tomorrow is a day to bear in mind that, despite being focused, Jesus had time for certain disruptions. He had time for people – and not only the worthy, rich and powerful. In the day ahead, remember that Jesus is never too busy to hear the concerns of your heart. He can also use you and me, if we seek to imitate Him when we are interrupted – despite our frustrations at what can seem a ‘pain in the neck’ at the time.
All-knowing and compassionate Lord, speak to me tomorrow through the unexpected, as well as my best-laid plans. Amen.
‘[The Lord] will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.”’
Matthew 25:45 (NIV, 2011)
The rich and the kingdom of God Mark 10:17-31
Copyright 2012 Anthony D. Miles Published 2012 CWR ISBN: 98-1-85345-767-8
What are you doing for your Lenten reflections? It’s not too late to start – we are only on day 6 or 40. I recommend signing up for Brian Draper’s Lent40 reflections … or you could always read one of my books!