Interruptions

One of the privileges of serving in ministry full time is being able to respond to interruptions that come up during the course of the day. As I’ve shared before, “Ministry is in the interruptions.”

A few weeks ago, I was getting ready to head to my office to prepare a Bible study when Laurie stopped me. “M is starting her new job today and she just called to tell me that she has a flat tire.” “No problem. I’ll just go down there and change it for her.”

Assessing the situation, I quickly realized that the used car she had recently bought did not have the right jack or tire tool, and the one that came with my truck was too tall. Thankfully, a random guy in the parking lot had a virtual Auto Zone in his trunk. I borrowed the exact tools I needed for the job, and got some uninvited assistance thrown in.

As I began lifting the flat tire off the ground, my assistant decided that the wheels needed to be straightened, so he went over to the driver’s side and started pulling on the steering wheel. I backed away from the tottering car a bit because he was putting a lot of force on that steering wheel. With the wheels finally straightened, I finished changing the offending tire. I thanked my assistant and we parted ways.

M came out to check on the progress and I told her that I would take the car to the tire shop to get the flat plugged while she finished her first day orientation. She said I didn’t have to, but I insisted. I got in the car and turned the key. When I grasped the steering wheel, I could immediately tell something was wrong. It felt very loose in my hands and sort of swung freely. It was a used car… so maybe it was like this when she bought it? I drove the car across town and concluded that the steering column must have broken when my assistant was helpfully straightening the wheels. Can you believe it?! I thought, “This gives new meaning to the phrase, When Helping Hurts!”

Well, long story short, I ended up taking her car to a mechanic and paid to have the steering column replaced with a part that he miraculously found in an online junk yard. What should have been a 30-minute interruption turned into a 10-day service project that included carpooling, babysitting, and fundraising.

Ministry is definitely in the interruptions.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:5-8).

May we see the interruptions of life as opportunities to have the mind of Christ.

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