Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

May 3, 2021: Are You Available?

“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth” (Ps. 46:10, KJV).

How many of us enjoy being interrupted? I would argue that most of us do not. We have developed tools to prevent disturbance. Noise-canceling headphones, automatic replies to phone calls and emails are just a few. There are more subtle ways we do this, such as scheduling our lives so tightly there is no space for an unscheduled event. There is nothing wrong with preserving space in our lives where we can focus on our priorities. That is how we get work done. But it becomes a problem when our entire life is built around preventing interruptions.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes about this danger in Life Together: “We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God. God will be constantly crossing our paths and canceling our plans by sending us people with claims and petitions. We may pass them by, preoccupied with our more important tasks ... it is a strange fact that Christians and even ministers frequently consider their work so important and urgent that they will allow nothing to disturb them. They think they are doing God a service in this, but they are disdaining God’s ‘crooked yet straight path’” (p. 99).

Now I don’t think Bonhoeffer was recommending that we allow just anything to alter our schedules. The stipulation was to allow God to interrupt.

The Scriptures call us to “be still and know that He is God.” He will reveal opportunities for us to share with others at any time, in any place. But if we are too busy, we will not be prepared for these types of interruptions.

Father, may we be open and receptive to divine occasions to share love—no matter how full our schedule may be. Amen.

Elliot Smith is a chaplain for the Kettering Adventist HealthCare in Ohio.

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