We Interrupt You Now For Your Most Important Work

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"Ants pick a carcass cleaner than a lion."

Rev. Thomas had been the minister of a small church for almost a year and was thrilled when the World Hunger rally organizers asked him to speak. This would be his most important sermon since seminary.

For the next month, he set aside time each day to work on his sermon, but every day he was interrupted. Mrs. Bates hobbled in to complain about her arthritis. Two Sunday school teachers argued over bulletin board space. Mr. John, alone in a trailer on the outskirts of town, found his dog with a broken leg.

With one week to go, Rev. Thomas complained to his wife. "I can't get my job done for all the interruptions."

She looked up from the fifth-grade spelling tests on the dining room table. "Appears your real job is the interruptions," she said.

When our first child arrived, I had just stepped away from co-authoring a biblical commentary for Guideposts, working at Baylor's Armstrong-Browning Library, and mentoring a group of theological students. For this long-awaited child I dropped everything, but my agenda habit died hard.

Once, after a day especially colicky, I started to cry. "Oh, honey," I sniffled to my husband. "My only agenda today was two loads of laundry and three thank-you notes. I barely washed one load, and no notes. My day has nothing to show for it."

My husband looked at our now-peaceful infant with clean diapers in a clean crib, and put his arms around me. He pointed out that I had washed our son, changed his diapers, rocked him to China and back as he cried with colic, fed him, comforted him, changed his clothes, his sheets, and rocked him more. When our son finally went down for a nap, I took a shower, washed my hair, made the bed, cleaned the kitchen, started the laundry, and then, when I heard the first wail, started rocking, feeding, changing all over again.

Nothing that day could go on a resume, but like Rev. Thomas listening to the small trials in his flock, I'd done the work of God.

When the Lord of the universe willingly died like a criminal, all the world's values reversed. Big and small lost meaning. What matters now is that with grace and industry we "do all such good works as Thou has prepared for us to walk in."*

*Book of Common Prayer