By emulating Jesus we can deal with the unexpected interruptions in our lives
By Rev. Samuel M. Bodie
The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to Him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."
So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, He had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So He began teaching them many things.
How do you deal with interruptions, especially when you take a time out, or some quiet time to rest and rejuvenate? That rest might be a well-deserved vacation, however clients find you and impose upon you. Do you get angry when this happens? Like most people, you probably do.
Why do people do that? Is it because they have no concern for the privacy of others? Well, while this might apply to a very small number of people, for the most part, people, including your family and friends interrupt your private time because they have a need and they see you as their only ray of hope to satisfy their need.
In the above text Jesus decided to take His disciples to a quiet place and have a time out.
The disciples had only just returned from their mission of proclaiming the gospel to the people of the surrounding region. They had been given power to preach repentance, cast out demons and heal the sick.
When they returned from their mission, they were quite excited as they related their unexpected results. Jesus suggested that they go to a quiet place. To get to this quiet place, they traveled by boat, about four miles across the lake. The people saw them go, therefore, they told others and hurried on foot around the lake, and got there before Jesus and his disciples.
Jesus wanted a time out or a rest period for His disciples. This was an opportunity to refocus them. However, the presence of the crowd made it impossible.
The crowd that traveled through the towns to make it around the lake to see Jesus was interrupting him. Nonetheless, to them, He was their only ray of hope. They had come, a huge multitude, about 5,000, just to see Him, to sit at His feet, to hear His words, to be renewed, to be healed, and like His disciples, to be refocused.
The interruptions in life are normally annoying. We don't like them. Often we are interrupted at work, and at home. Most of the time interruptions at home come from our family, or someone who decides to drop in unannounced or call at the most inopportune time. They do so because they need our time. When someone says they need you, find time to give to them. It might be the difference between life and death. Normally when people reach out to you they are desperate.
When Jesus saw the crowd, although they were interrupting His quiet moment, He did not become annoyed. He saw their needs. They were like sheep without shepherds. They were lost, confused, vulnerable, frightened, anxious and defenseless.
Therefore, Jesus used the interruption that day as an opportunity to teach the people about a God who loves them. Looking at the crowd, His only emotion was compassion. With Jesus, compassion is making what is wrong right.
As Christians, we are called to do likewise, to have compassion; reach out and give help. That's what compassion meant to Jesus and that is what it should be to us in the church.
This text is a window for us to see how Jesus handled unexpected interruptions. We have unexpected interruptions in our lives also. By emulating Jesus, we too can deal with the unexpected interruptions in our lives. Like Jesus, let us use these as opportunities. Amen.
* Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at The Lutheran Church of Nassau, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas, or telephone: 323-4107; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.
© 2012 The Freeport News