In our culture, we plan to the max: our calendars are full, our checklists are long, and our goals are polished. Yet sometimes we are interrupted from our plans, checklists, and goals. The whole world has been interrupted by the virus we call COVID-19. Even as the pandemic rages, we experience small interruptions like our children’s mishaps, cancelled appointments, and technology that does not function when we need it to.
So, how should we respond to interruptions in our lives? How can we handle them with grace, gratitude, and grit, instead of impatience, irritation, and irritability?
Interruptions are designed by God, which means interruptions are opportunities. In other words, there is no such thing as an interruption in your life. Yes, from your standpoint of planning and preparing, the change of plans might seem like an interruption. But from God’s point of view, nothing is an interruption in life. The Scripture teaches: “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
We must remember, then, that interruptions are providential interruptions. We must remember that God truly “directs our steps.” When we have this mentality, it helps us to see that even though our plans have changed, God sovereignly orchestrated the change. Instead of being frustrated, we can ask: Lord, how do you want me to seize this opportunity?
Does this mean that we do not plan? Not at all. The adage is true: if we fail to plan, we plan to fail. And even better than an adage, the Scripture commends planning, but only with the heart attitude of “if the Lord wills” (James 4:13-17; Proverbs 6:6-8; 16:3; 21:5).
So, whether you have a “small” interruption in your plans for the day—which are generally harder to handle than “big” interruptions—or a “big” interruption in plans for your life, like a cancelled vacation, cancer, or a pandemic, realize that there are truly no interruptions in life—only opportunities from a sovereign God.