It’s happened to all of us. We spend hours and hours and hours preparing for Sunday morning (at least I hope you do). We study our Bibles, we outline the lesson, we plan the crafts. During the final days, we put on the finishing touches, get the props together, and plan the transitions and “special effects.” We practice our delivery, tweak what doesn’t work like we want it to, and do the last minute prep. We get a good night’s sleep on Saturday and hop out of bed Sunday morning ready to impact kids for the Kingdom of God.
We get there early and pray over the classroom and kids. We set everything up and head to the door to great kids and parents as they arrive. As time for the lesson approaches, we shoot up another prayer, take one last look at our notes and get ready to go. When teaching time starts, we are wholly prepared, pumped, primed and ready to go. Like a well oiled machine, we step on the stage or to the front of the classroom and begin the presentation of a lifetime – a presentation we have labored over to the glory of God.
Then it happens:
We ignore it at first. Perhaps it will just go away if we ignore it.
Excuse me Mr./Mrs. insert your name here.
There it is again. You thought you were past it. Now you have to do something.
Hang on little Timmy. We’ll have time for questions in a couple of minutes.
There you go. Well done! You’ve handled the “problem” like a pro, and now you can get back to your plan. Yes, your plan is definitely what’s best for these kids.
Excuse Me! I have a question.
Doesn’t this kid have a filter? Doesn’t he know it’s not the right time? Doesn’t he understand that planning and preparation you’ve put into this moment – for him? Is he that selfish that he can’t just wait for you to be done to answer his silly little question?
Hold on a second…pull the reigns….put your foot firmly on the brake pedal and push hard. Are you listening to yourself?
I don’t mean to sound harsh. After all, I am talking as much to myself as anyone else. I have a Type A personality. I like to plan and plan and plan, then do and do and do. I don’t like last minute changes. If there is a last minute change, it better fit nicely into one of the multiple backup plans that I have also planned out in excruciating detail. I am not a spontaneous person – at least I am not by my power.
The types of “interruptions” I described above used to throw me off my game. I was prone to either ignore them or just get totally derailed by them. Not anymore. God showed me that these disruptions were not an interruption of his plan but of mine. They bothered me because I had a plan. I justify that sense of being bothered by equating my plan was consistent with God’s plan. God has shown me that it is exactly these “interruptions” that oftentimes lead to the deepest most personal time of instruction and discipleship. God has shown me that these interruptions are actually “Holy Interruptions.” And, everyone gives me a green light into a child’s life. With every Holy Interruption, God is giving me the opportunity to build a relationship with a child that may, God willing, eventually lead to a deepening of that child’s relationship with God.
There is nothing wrong with planning and preparation. I think we owe that to the kids we teach and God we serve. These days, though, my prayer each Sunday is that my planning and preparation will take a back seat to God’s will for his children. On Sunday mornings now, you will likely find me praying for some Holy Interruptions rather than being disturbed by them. Yes, we serve a great big God who isn’t nearly as interested in our outline as he is our heart.
Read more from Wayne on his personal blog or at Kidmin1123.