Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Interruption, 'ruption... What's Your Function?

Last week’s post, It’s Not Your Mother’s Quiet-Time spurred some healthy and worthy-of-note conversation. If you haven’t had a chance to read last week’s comments, you may want to review our conversation. And ladies… conversation through this blog network is exactly what I’m hoping for. My desire is that we will all interact according to the topic of each week.

And BRAVO for the first couple of weeks You’ve done well. I love the way each of you presented your comments. Authenticity is so important to a topic like Linger. Some of you (and you know who you are J) desperately wanted to plunge into the weeks ahead; and even though I SO wanted to go there with you, I restrained my dancing fingertips to slow the progress – just a little.  

Alright, now that the Linger blog-stage has been set, it’s time for us to tackle a topic we can all relate to…. INTERRUPTION. As you read this post, will you ponder the interruptions of your own life? And think about ways you weave your course of conversation with the Lord through one disruption after another.  Do you hit the pause button – tell the Father you’ll be right back? Or does it dawn on you, later in the day, that you left the conversation somewhere between “Good morning, Lord and AMEN?

Interruption is typically reserved for two-way dialogue or interaction with others, and over the course of life, all of us have experienced it in one way or another—more times than we can count. Whether we’re listening to the Lord through reading His Word or making a conscious effort to be still, waiting for His voice during prayer, we almost always face interruption. Sometimes it comes from an outside source, in the form of another person, activity or distraction, demanding or grabbing our attention. And other times, it is internal, such as our internal thoughts chasing a bunny-trail smack in the middle of our time with the Lord. 

Will you share some of your own personal experiences of interruption? Did you recognize it when it happened and take 10 from time with the Lord? Or did you seemingly just drift from your one-on-one with Him into another activity or thought process?

Here’s just one (of many) of my experiences:

 One of my favorite times to pray is right before I sleep. I love to conversing with the Lord during the last quiet moments before slumber. Some of these times have been most precious to me. Other times, slumber comes before I utter AMEN. And sometimes, I’m really praying for something close to my heart, yet even so, my eyes become a natural barrier between awake and asleep. In this particular case, sleep becomes the interruption, robbing me of listening - stealing my words at the end of the day.

Granted, it takes discipline to pray while physically exhausted (and in bed), but it’s become habit. I enjoy sharing my day and last minute requests with the Father before I doze. Sometimes I get to AMEN; sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I’m frustrated with my lack of discipline to finish; other times, I simply welcome the rest.

I know there are many more interruption experiences, and mine barely begins to touch on the wide scope of them. Share yours?


Tami Boesiger said...

When my kids were young, it seemed no matter how early I got up to spend time with God, they would somehow sense I was up and wander in. I would get so frustrated, but soon learned the best way to fight it was to charge ahead with my time as best I could, many times with a little one in my lap or struggling to shut out the noise they were making. I figured if I gave up, Satan won. Interrupted time was better than none at all.

Sharen Watson said...

Tami... I remember those days (long past now). Young ones were always in the midst of my time with the Lord. Many times, I incorporated them into the moment. Like you, I snuggled and struggled; other times, I invited them to join me. Sometimes, bringing my own study, devotional or prayer time to a level of understanding for my little ones helped me to better hear what the Lord wanted to speak to my own heart.

Love your comment. "Interrupted time was better than none at all." Now that's real.

You worked through your interruption. Sometimes we have no other recourse. And our time, even with occasional or constant disruption, still enriches our journey with our Father.

D. Gudger said...

Booger may seem like he'd be the biggest interruption, but he's learning to respect mommy's Jesus time. Sometimes he joins me and colors.

My biggest obstacle is pain. Headaches. My brain can work when another part of my body hurts, but when a headache takes up residence, I loose cognition, concentration and have a hard time with the physical act of reading. These things can last for days - even weeks.

Not sure how to deal with that one.

Sharen Watson said...

Darcie... I feel your pain. Really. Being an occasional migraine sufferer I totally get that. Like you, my mind just doesn't seem to function at full capacity when I'm struggling with a headache, and my conversation with the Lord is broken and unfocused. It seems all I can do is just be quiet - still. And maybe that's best for right then. But, I also know that God knows what's on our hearts long before we present Him with our requests or praise. I love how He knows us from the inside out and we make sense to Him... Interrupted by a headache or not.

And Darcie... I love that your little guy is joining you in your Jesus time. What a great way to teach him how important that time is. NOW, if he asks to go potty (since I know you're at that stage with him) during your time with Jesus, what will you do then? :-)

D. Gudger said...

I will snatch him up, run up the stairs and ask Jesus to help him hit the target, then thank Jesus for one small success. :D

At night, during his prayer time, we pray that Jesus will help him use the potty like a big boy.

Sharen Watson said...

Comment through email (posted with permission f/Beth Forsberg):

When I think about interruption I think of it from God's perspective. He is constantly interrupting me and my schedule to get my attention. I have been reading a book called Crazy Love by Francis Chan and he talks about God's incredible love for us and how it is when we are responding to that love. I have been asking God to give me white hot passion and not let me miss anything he has to say or wants me to do, the problem is I get so busy with "life", that even though I pray and spend time in His word, He still has to "interrupt" my plans to refocus my thinking. This week it has been with my husband being home with back issues....my life and "my" plans are totally interrupted and that is so God! I WANT to get it, you know!"

Sharen Watson said...

Darcie... LOL! I expected just that reply too :-) What a perfect way to incorporate prayer into real life for a toddler. You're a great mom!

Sharen Watson said...

Beth... I really appreciate your comment. You've put another twist on interruption and the fact that God has to interrupt us from time to time to refocus us. Thank you for that. I'm with you, I WANT to get it! I WANT to pay attention and not miss a word of what He has to say or do in my life. I'm going to look for the book you mentioned too. It sounds wonderful.

Jan Parrish said...

Speaking of interruptions, I think this is the third time today I've tried to sit down and comment. LOL.

My day starts a little later than most, which means friends and family have their day in full swing when I'm trying to linger. Cell phone, Twitter and email all distract. I counterbalance that by putting my Blackberry on vibrate. I also keep a notepad handy for the mental distractions the enemy sends my way.

During my lingering God may tell me to get up and take a meal, write a card, send an email. I consider all of that still part of my worship - it's not a distraction, but a redirection. It's a perfect time for Him to give me instruction since He has my full attention.

Sharen Watson said...

Jan... I do take notice that twitter, facebook and emails all come to life right around 9:00 AM. If I'm not up and going already, communication (which I love) can become a distraction. In fact, technology can be a distraction, period. No matter what time of day. We do need to make a concerted effort to pull ourselves away from those distractions while still remaining available should someone call, email, or facebook in need.

And you're right... Tools of communication can be invaluable for sending prayer requests, personal requests, emergency requests etc, becoming what Beth also alluded too, interruptions the Lord allows or uses to spur us into motion.

We often pray, "Here am I, Lord, send me," don't we? But that requires hearing His voice - sometimes in prayer and through reading His Word and other times through interruptions that pop up throughout our day.

This conversation leads to a prayer from my heart:

Help me, Father, to weed out interruption and distraction that comes as a result of the enemy's work, and grant me ears to listen for the "holy interruptions" meant to guide me into Your will. In the name of Your Son, my Savior, Jesus... AMEN

Robbie Iobst said...

Sharen, Great discussion. And thanks Beth for the recommendation for Crazy Love. I've sent it but was waiting for someone to tell me it was good.
I have an ADD mind :0) so I have had to practice, practice, practice FOCUSING on God. Sometimes it's easier than others. But I love it when I find myself in solitude and silence truly RESTING in God's hands. Of course, the interruptions can some times be funny.
I tried something new a year ago. I started my day with sitting down, lighting candles and just trying to listen to God for 10 minutes at a time. At first I didn't know what to do. So I started with the simple sentence. "Here I am." Almost immediately that old song would come to mind - "Here I am Baby, Signed sealed delivered I'm Your love!" I tried forever to not let that happen, but it kept occuring. So I just went with it, laughed and sang it to God. Now it is part of my beginning prayer as I climb up into the Father's lap. :0) "Here I am Jesus, Signed sealed delivered I'm your girl!"

Sharen Watson said...

Robbie... You are hilarious! One of the most REAL people I know. God must say the exact thing about you. I can hear it now, music and all... "Here I am, Robbie... signed, sealed, delivered, I'm Yours."

What a great idea. Starting your listening time with the Lord by lighting candles. With ADD/ADHD, as I know in dealing with one of our kids, routine is helpful in settling the mind, offering focus for what's to come. I think this can even be helpful for those of us without ADD/ADHD, when/if snuggle moments appear.

Thank you so much for being a part of our dialogue.