Day 23 | This Lent is for Interruption
it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
Whoever loves his life loses it,
and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life."
- John 12:24-25
Find it interesting, friends, this was the post I already had scheduled for today, on interruption, when our lives are looking to be undeniably changed for a while. I also know that "interruption" is a mild word for the impact this crisis is having on some people's lives, but I hope still that maybe there's some piece of encouragement to be found for any of us in Mr. Nouwen's writings here below. Nothing is wasted in God's hands.
- AB, Worship Director
From Reaching Out
by Henri Nouwen
While visiting the University of Notre Dame, where I had been a teacher for a few years, I met an older experienced professor who had spent most of his life there. And while we strolled over the beautiful campus, he said with a certain melancholy in his voice, "You know... my whole life I have been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted, until I discovered that my interruptions were my work."
Don't we often look at the many events of our lives as big or small interruptions, interrupting many of our plans, projects and life schemes? Don't we feel an inner protest when a student interrupts our reading, bad weather our summer, illness our well-scheduled plans, the death of a dear friend our peaceful state of mind, a cruel war our ideas about the goodness of man, and the many harsh realities of life our good dreams about it? And doesn't this unending row of initerrruptioins build in our hearts feelings of anger, frustration and even revenge, so much so that at times we see the real possibility that growing old can become synonymous with growing bitter?
But what if our interruptions are in fact our opportunities, if they are challenges to an inner response by which growth takes place and through which we come to the fullness of being?
What if the events of history are molding us as a sculptor molds his clay, and if it is only in a careful obedience to these molding hands that we can discover our real vocation and become mature people?
What if all the unexpected interruptions are in fact the invitations to give up old-fashioned and out-boded styles of living and are opening up new unexplored areas of experience? And finally: What if our history does not prove to be a blind impersonal sequence of events over which we have no control, but rather reveals to us a guiding hand pointing to a personal encounter in which all our hopes and aspirations will reach their fulfillment?
Then our life would indeed be a different life because then fate becomes opportunity, wounds a warning and paralysis an invitation to search for deeper sources of vitality. Then we can look for hope in the middle of crying cities, burning hospitals and desperate parents and children. Then we can cast off the temptation of despair and speak about the fertile tree while witnessing the dying of the seed. Then indeed we can break out of the prison of an anonymous series of events and listen to the God of history who speaks to us in the center of our solitude and respond to his ever new call for conversion.
- - Excerpted from Reaching Out by Henri Nouwen (p. 52-53)
Love to have you email firstname.lastname@example.org to share with us any praise, encouragement, or prayer requests you may have during this season, and we'll be taking time to pray and respond.
Listen to our worship song of the day, Nothing Is Wasted, below or find it here on Spotify on our 2020 Lenten Worship Playlist, growing daily one song at a time.
I had a plan...
I had a path...
I was moving fast...
I was busy...
Into my busy-ness,
God injected himself.
And I missed it.
In my planning,
I missed it
In my focus,
I missed it
In my purposefulness,
I missed it
In my distraction,
I missed it
Yet God continued.
Reaching for me.
Opportunity to connect with him.
To connect with life.
To connect with today.
To connect with...
Lord, today I am ready.
Today I am aware.
Today I am watching for you.
For your interruptions.
Lord I will live today ready to respond.
To respond to interruptions.
Interruptions from you that bring me back to...
Thank you Andrea! I have not been following your daily Lenten posts. For some reason I looked today. Great message and wonderful response by Steve.
Blessings on your day!
Hi Bill, I guess God interrupted you today! ;) Perfect
Glad it came at a good time for you, BK! And glad you were moved by Steve's writing as well. Much love to you both.