Saturday, July 21, 2012

My Time, My Turf, My Toy

Six-pound visiting boy puppy has no self-esteem issues. He likes to stir up quiet. Get things going. He reflects his name—Capone. No matter how vigorously resident girl dog growls and tussles, or how silently anyone tries to ignore boy puppy, he’ll persevere in finding fun.

Girl dog will tolerate a lot. She’ll share her bones and her water dish, even her de-stuffed favorite kiwi toy. But she draws the line when it comes to sharing us. When she’s sitting on the footrest of the man’s recliner, she does not, will not, share the space with anyone except the man. Fortunately, boy puppy can’t jump that high so he just dances around the perimeter and ignores her growls.

Refereeing their turf wars made me reflect on my own yard-dog tendencies. I’ll share my home and my stuff (well, kind of touchy about my computer) and even my money. But I draw the line, get downright growly about my sharing my time.

I can make a good case for myself in defense of this. After all, there are tons of books written about drawing boundaries, saying no, and managing every twenty minutes of your day. But after finding myself in the same scenario three times this week and having the same nasty reaction, I suspected that no matter how much I tried to justify myself the Lord was making a point.

Although Jesus knew when he needed time out with his Father, he let people interrupt whatever he was doing. After all, that’s what he was about—healing the sick and proclaiming the gospel.  

In the course of a typical afternoon, while talking to John’s disciples about fasting Jesus was interrupted by a synagogue official who begged him to go to his home and lay hands on his sick daughter. Along the way, a woman cut through his entourage and clutched the hem of his garment. (I might have gotten a bit testy right about now) but Jesus stopped to speak to her when he felt power going from himself and made her well.

He then continued on the way of his original destination and healed the official’s daughter. Maybe he would have liked to call it a day, but some blind men followed and begged him for their own healing. Jesus took the interruption in stride, paused to hear their request, and then healed them.

What I’m seeing is that Jesus let himself be interrupted by others’ concerns, because he was always about his Father’s business. Now for those of us with task-oriented personalities, this is a crown to win. I don’t know what obstacle the people-oriented folk have to overcome, but sitting still through conversations that go way off track, or meetings that digress into personal needs, makes my legs restless.

“I have more THINGS to do than sit here,” the railing voice inside my head that I’m sure everyone hears, is yelling.


“Abide in Me,” Jesus says.

I’m thinking about that this week—giving my time to the Lord. Making my plans but being open about the interruptions, especially the ones that take me out of my comfort zone and require I hunker down and just be instead of do.

If I really abide in him, will he not make even the things I have to do be done more efficiently? Maybe even like the moment when the disciples received him into their boat and “immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.”—John 6:21

What do you think?


  1. What do I think? I think this is a very thought-provoking posting and one that I, too, needed to read, study and digest! Time management experts call interruptions "blurts"....I guess I need to reframe my thinking and call them opportunities.:o)

  2. Last week, the Lord led me to our next community Bible study, Abiding in Christ, by Andrew Murray and Bo Stevenson. Your post is yet one more confirmation that we're moving in the right direction.

    I agree with Deb -- very thought-provoking post, Marcia. Thanks!

  3. Hey Marcia,
    Wow, this sure does apply to life. While I'm generally a "Mary" and not a "Martha", I sure can get frustrated by interrupted plans. Usually when my kids interrupt. Once I finally decide to get something done, I want to do it. But yes, my kids and what's going on with them is what's truly important. Thanks for the reminder to listen to Jesus during the day.


Love to hear from you