Pardon the Interruption
As we sat around the dinner table, our middle-schooler, Jazmyn, was eager to tell us about an occurrence that happened during her school day:
'... at the beginning of class, Mr. Douglas* said he was going to show us a movie. But just as he was about to play it, the classroom phone rang; so he said he would just play it later. Then, in the middle of class, he was about to play it and the phone rang again! When he tried to play it again later, another teacher came to our class to talk to him... It was so funny because he kept getting interrupted!'
'But, finally, during the last few minutes of class, he was able to show it. The video was about us knowing our rights if we are stopped by the police...'
I won't get into the exact content of the video, but I will say it was not a wise decision to show it to a classroom full of, (predominantly minority) hormonal adolescents, who are already testing authority figures and pushing boundaries and limits.
LT and I used the information relayed to us as an opportunity to teach and remind our daughter of her rights and responsibilities as a professed born again Believer of Jesus Christ, living in our household, and she now has a clearer understanding.
"Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Insofar as there is peace and order, it’s God’s order. So live responsibly as a citizen. If you’re irresponsible to the state, then you’re irresponsible with God, and God will hold you responsible. Duly constituted authorities are only a threat if you’re trying to get by with something. Decent citizens should have nothing to fear.
Do you want to be on good terms with the government? Be a responsible citizen and you’ll get on just fine, the government working to your advantage. But if you’re breaking the rules right and left, watch out. The police aren’t there just to be admired in their uniforms. God also has an interest in keeping order, and he uses them to do it. That’s why you must live responsibly—not just to avoid punishment but also because it’s the right way to live." ~ Romans 13:1-5 (MSG)
As we continued our conversation with Jazmyn, another WHOAment came to me: the Holy Spirit intervened on the children's behalf by allowing all these interruptions to come. I am not a mind reader, so I have no clue if, perhaps, Mr. Douglas* had any reservations about playing the video in the first place. Nor do I know him personally, so I don't know if he is a Believer. But I do know he didn't see the interruptions as divine intervention and, as a result, chose to go his own way.
In many ways, some of us are like Mr. Douglas* when we are so hell-bent on getting our way or accomplishing something, that we don't consider the possibility that interruptions or hiccups also come to give us an opportunity to take a moment to pause, hear from God and, perhaps, make course corrections. Instead, we choose to ignore them and go on about our plans. Only to either regret our decisions and actions later.
For instance, remember the time you wanted to "give someone a piece of your mind" but when you called them, you found out that you dialed the wrong number? Or perhaps you wanted to call an ex and tell them you wanted to get back with them, but their significant other answered the phone. Divine intervention, perhaps? Now think of those times when you still went through with your plans.
Mr. Douglas' ultimate decision to play the video had a ripple effect. Thank God we were able to use the situation as a teaching moment for our daughter. But what about the children who may choose to take the tips in the video at face value? Without proper teaching and further guidance, their future actions can lead them to a catastrophic end.
So let's not be like Mr. Douglas*. Instead, the next time we are in a situation where it seems that nothing is going as planned, before determination sets in, take it as an opportunity to pause, seek wise counsel (the Holy Spirit and God's Word) and confirm that we are, indeed, going in the right direction.
*Name changed to protect identity.
I love hearing from you! So let's chat!
* After reading this WHOAment, did you identify a recurring interruption/hiccup in your plan? What is your next course of action, if any?
*Recall an experience for which you are thankful because you heeded God's intervention and made a course correction.