Rebounding from Interruptions
Last weekend I had a personal crisis, my laptop suddenly quit functioning! My life and ministry is in that laptop! Five+ years of work perhaps lost! The ability to engage in electronic webinar learning temporarily delayed. I feared that the inability to fully lead Zoom or other forms of virtual conversation would hinder fulfilling my many appointments and responsibilities.
Several days later, life goes on, work is accomplished, perhaps emails are shorter, but no tragedy has occurred as a result! Whether during the pandemic or when life was "normal," interruptions happen. In the stress of these days, interruptions seem to take on greater significance and cause our already high stress levels to skyrocket. Irritants that we used to take in stride suddenly cause a bevy of anxious emotions.
A spiritual discipline that helps me every day and especially when life's irritating interruptions come, is gratitude. I know it sounds too simple, but cultivating an attitude of gratitude is tonic for the soul. Calling to mind many blessings doesn't minimize the pain of interruption, but it helps put life in context. Psalm147:7 proclaims, "Sing to the Lord with grateful praise; make music to our God." Psalm 118:1 encourages, "Give thanks to the Lord, for God is good; God's love endures forever." Be grateful, give thanks and sing!
As a child, when a disappointment or failure or hurt came my way, it meant so much when mom or dad would put their arm around me and say, "it's going to be ok." As we express gratitude and thankfulness even in the midst of difficult times, remember that the living Christ loves you and is with you. I love to listen from time to time to a song by Tasha Layton "(Into the Sea) It's Going to be Ok." You can enjoy that reminder of God's love found here on YouTube:
Gracious God, we are experiencing so many interruptions and irritants in life these days. Even in the midst of multiple challenges, help us to count the ways we are blessed beyond measure by our relationships, abundance and your incredible love. Bless the many ways we are adapting in these days in our lives, our congregations and even our Wisconsin Annual Conference as we prepare to meet virtually this week. Thank you for your abundant grace. Amen.
May this devotion provide you with a moment of faithful reflection and care. You are involved in ministries of justice and witness, in ministries of standing up and standing with people working to create better systems and communities, in ministries of learning and searching and researching to become more aware and awakened, more technologically savvy and proficient, more virtually and personally present in your churches and communities and world. Each of us who serve as members of your Wisconsin Cabinet write these devotions in grateful prayer for you – for sustenance and buoyancy, for strength and courage, for safety and just actions, and for faith and love to be full and fulfilled in your daily lives. God’s grace and blessings, God’s challenge and healthy discomfort, God’s Spirit and energy be with you, in the hope Christ offers us all.