Oh how mysterious is God? But oh, how trustworthy the Lord is also.
On a recent day, a day of so-called Christmas cheer, I was inundated with jobs, tasks, interactions, the so-called urgent demands. It might only be six or seven, but it was enough to take me away from my sole responsibility of caring for my son, with my wife at work.
There were three email conversations, WhatsApp messages, some Messenger interactions, a sermon to prepare and read, along with housework to do. The nature of interruptions is that it doesn’t take too much, just a couple of interactions or tasks at an awkward moment, to derail well-intentioned plans.
Interruptions create hustle
But God interrupts the hustle with creativity.
As I am responding to all these interruptions, stressing out the deal, I am vaguely aware that my five-year-old is craving my attention. It seems so unreasonable to do this. Like a five year old! Like a child who loves and deserves his dad. Like a child who wants to share with his father the wonder of playing with mud.
Then God speaks. ‘Keep your phone.’ ‘To go outside.’ ‘Now!’
‘Okay, Lord, if you say so …’ It was not in me to do it on my own, but God prompted me to leave the house at the call of my son …
‘Dad, come and build with me … make mud with me.’
All of these priorities, needs, and wants are on my mind to handle now as they arise. Yes, I have done all the time management training courses that tell me not to do this, but …
… no goals … no if’s, no goals.
So I walk, twenty percent against my own will, but at least I’m walking.
When I get within ten meters of the side door, I see what you’ve arranged.
You have an entire construction site spruced up with six ‘machines’ ready to do the hard work of hauling dirt and material for your building. All machines are lined up and ready to go. Everything is ready, the planning and scheduling has been done, but there is a vital source of work that has been delayed: Dad!
He proceeds to describe to me the oldest machine that he really likes, and also shows the newer and bigger machines. Very quickly I come to understand my role in the “building.” I turn the water on and off so that the earth becomes a slurry that we call “mud.” He arranges his machines so they can receive their payload of dirt, and all the dirt ends up in the hopper (also known as a wheelbarrow).
And God is compelling when He shows me His peace by allowing me to absorb myself into my child’s world.
God will interrupt our hustle and bustle if we are listening. Indeed, if we are attentive to our frustrations, we will see that God is remembering us not simply through His still, still voice, but that the Holy Spirit is raging through the growing anger of our disobedience.
The moments of obedience, when we spend time with our children and families, are often fleeting in this life, but they are moments that we will never regret. However, handling the tasks and demands of life, even if they seem imperative, will make us regret our missed opportunities with our relatives.