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    We Interrupt This Regularly Scheduled Program

    Last night, our H.O.P.E. group was supposed to be serving at The Good Samaritan Shelter in Phoenixville, PA.  We were scheduled to paint and clean a couple of rooms at the shelter with our group which typically meets twice a month to serve other people.  It didn’t happen though.

    In the middle of the day, we received news that the shelter was closing their offices early due to the inclement weather.  We received a few inches of wet snow yesterday which doesn’t sound like a lot for those in the some parts of the country.  For some reason, the first significant snow fall put everyone in our area on high alert.

    And so our regularly scheduled program was interrupted.  The interruption came with mixed feelings.  My wife and I were a little sad, because we had a big group scheduled to help out.  We were excited to have our whole H.O.P.E. group along with a few guests lined up to put a dent in the shelter.  It’s challenging to reschedule activities like this, so cancelling this event brings an unknown as to when we’ll be able to serve again with this ministry.

    On the other hand, our family has an extremely busy schedule this week with activities scheduled for each evening.  The break last night was somewhat of a blessing as it gave us the opportunity to be at home for the evening.  We were able to eat together, read, and relax after a busy day of work and school.

    Sometimes an interruption can be a good thing.  I don’t normally handle interruption all that well.  I don’t like change, and I don’t like it when my schedule or routine is compromised.  So what can I learn from last night’s interruption?

    1. Interruptions happen.  It’s a fact of life. You and I need to get used to the fact that things come up that will interrupt our lives.
    2. Embrace the interruption.  Sometimes an interruption can be just what we need to get us realigned.  Besides, pouting and grumbling over the impact of an interruption is a waste of energy.  My kids enjoyed the opportunity to play in the snow.  Perhaps, this was their way of embracing the interruption.
    3. Evaluate your interrupted activity.  What was I doing when I was interrupted?  What part of my schedule was interrupted?  Do I need to return to that activity, program, conversation, etc.?  Or do I need to move on?  I hope that we can reschedule this H.O.P.E. serving opportunity, but it will be important for us to evaluate how this fits into the schedule for our group and for our family.
    4. Expect interruption.  Interruptions are a good reminder that we need to build in margins into our schedules and into our lives.  Margins give us space to breath, to think, and to react to life’s interruptions.
    5. Be considerate when you interrupt and when you are interrupted.  It’s going to happen.  You will need to interrupt someone else and their regularly scheduled program, and you will be interrupted by someone else who really needs your attention.  Learn to respect other people.  Respond in grace.  Treat others the way you would like to be treated.
    6. Trust God when your life is interrupted.  Sometimes interruptions can be far more than an inconvenience.  Sometimes an interruption can be like shoving a stick in the spokes of a moving bicycle.  Maybe it’s a health crisis, a job loss, or a death of a loved one.  These kinds of interruptions can rock our worlds.  In times like these, we need to remember to trust God.  He may be the only thing we can hang onto when an interruption shatters our lives.

    When was the last time your schedule was interrupted?  How was this interruption a good thing?  How has interruption in your life STRETCHED you?