In the past fourteen days, I have only been able to cross off fourteen items total out of 40+ things needing attention yesterday. That averages to one item accomplished per day!
Why am I getting so little accomplished these days? I can answer that with one word. INTERRUPTIONS. And what is the definition of interruptions? PEOPLE!
People calling. People needing help. People asking favors. People dropping by the house. Meetings...requests...office/paperwork. Endless correspondence where you respond to an email and there are two more that pop up in the inbox while answering! Night and day, it never lets up. When is one supposed to get around to doing "our stuff" when everybody else's stuff is taking up all our time?
What if God also has "to do" lists? What if God has on his list today for Juán to call me and see about our getting together for coffee at 2:15 this afternoon and talk about his problems?
When I seriously pray, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done..." am I not in effect saying, "Lord, your "to do" list has priority. Your agenda today takes precedence over my own." While meeting Juán at 2:15 may not be on my list, I would be foolish to blow off meeting Juan at 2:15 if he is on God's list.
I am reminded of a Mark Batterson quote I once came across,
One of my mottos is "ministry happens." I think that at least 90% of the ministry that happens in the gospels is spontaneous. Jesus was headed from one place to another and an opportunity would present itself. Jesus was willing to get off the beaten path and take the road less traveled. He didn't see them as detours or dead ends. Too often we mistake human interruptions for divine appointments. --from a Mark Batterson message entitled "Wild Goose Chase."For people like myself who are geared toward intentional ministry and "to do" lists, the above thought is a needed reminder. Am I too busy to take time for someone interrupting "my ministry?" Am I so geared towards that 10% intentional ministry that I overlook the 90% God sets in my path daily?
Is not that 90% as much "real ministry" as the 10% I set out to accomplish?
"Intentional ministry" people often hide behind the excuse of thinking I am too busy with real ministry. I simply do not have time for unplanned spontaneous ministry from people interrupting my busy schedule. The truth is I view my own agenda as more important than the needs and concerns of others. Their need for feedback and/or attention is secondary to my accomplishing what I think is my own more important agenda.
Was that Christ's attitude who often left the crowds and made time to go eat at Zaccheus' house? Healing blind beggar Bartimaeus? Stopping in his tracks on his way to a resurrection when an unknown woman touched the hem of his robe? Taking time for children while leaving the crowds to wait?
90% of ministry happens when we seize those spontaneous opportunities that come disguised as detours or interruptions.
What do you think?