Monday, November 28, 2011

Rethinking Interruptions

"On their return the apostles told Jesus all they had done.  He took them with him and withdrew privately to a city called Bethsaida.  When the crowds found out about it, they followed him; and he welcomed them, and spoke to them about the Kingdom of God, and healed those who needed to be cured."
(Luke 9:10-11)

The 12 disciples have just returned from their first major "solo mission" of ministry.  Jesus had sent them out on their own, giving them "power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases... to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal."  Quite a big assignment.  Now that they've returned, Jesus knows they need some debriefing & recharging time together.  So Jesus sets out to take them on a private retreat - just the 13 of them.  Or so he thought.  It turns out it wasn't as private as he had hoped.  Luke tells us "the crowds found out about it and followed him."

Now, if it had been me, I would have gently (but firmly!) told the crowds that my staff and I needed a little time by ourselves.  We'd be unable for a few days.  Please come back at the end of the week and we could talk then.  I would have known how important it was to invest time in the staff, and to regain energy and vitality in order to continue the mission & ministry we needed to.

That's not how Jesus responded.  Luke says "he welcomed them."  He didn't just "endure" their interruption, he welcomed them.  And he gave them what they needed most - the good news about the kingdom of God (first & foremost!), and some healing. 

Maybe doing the mission (even when tired & worn out) is sometimes more important than "debriefing" the mission with colleagues.  I know how important it is to recharge.  But maybe today's interruption is the one and only opportunity someone will have to come to know God's amazing grace & provision.  Maybe I should rethink those pesky interruptions from time to time, myself.  What about you?

No comments: