Most of us don’t do well with interruptions. But allowing ourselves to be re-directed can be a useful and godly trait, says Jeff Lucas 


Source: Andrii Yalanskyi / Alamy Stock Photo

One of the great British hobbies is queuing and, in my experience, we’re rather good at it, which comes from practise. In some cultures, people don’t respect the order of a queue, and an unseemly free-for-all results, sometimes accompanied by yelling and elbowing. But, with the exception of Black Friday, when some shoppers reportedly rugby tackle others in order to snag a bargain microwave, we Brits politely line up.

That’s why, just yesterday, I was mildly incensed when, having waited patiently in a queue for some eleven hours (OK, it was just 45 minutes), three chaps rudely pushed their way to the front. 

Quietly outraged, I pondered the reason for my frustration, and it came down to this: my carefully planned schedule was being interrupted. I had my day ahead organised – or so I’d thought. Now I’d be delayed by at least a whole ten minutes. 

Most of us don’t do well with interruptions, be they in conversation, in unexpected and sudden demands, or being stuck on a traffic-jammed M25, where I tend towards temporary atheism. 

But when I look at Jesus, I see a life where interruptions were many – they even became the turning points of his ministry. 

While quietly attending a friend’s wedding, his mother interrupts with a request that he help with a wine shortage. Questioning Pharisees interject during his teaching sessions. Crowds wreck plans for a quiet retreat with his friends, hotly pursuing his healing hands. Even his interruptions were interrupted. A synagogue leader called Jairus pleads with Jesus to come and heal his darling daughter but, on the way, he’s almost crushed by thronging crowds. Suddenly, a woman grabs the hem of his cloak, frantic to halt her chronic haemorrhaging. And he stops. 

Following in his example, we can surely demonstrate genuine love and care not just by well-planned acts of kindness, but by our ability to lay down our best laid plans, embrace inconvenience and take time to offer someone the gift of listening, prayer, generosity or even just the time of day. 

We demonstrate love by our ability to embrace inconvenience

Peter 2014 copy

There are many tributes that have been paid to the man who steered Premier to the place of huge influence that is holds today. The late Peter Kerridge was much beloved by the Premier team, an accolade that not all CEOs enjoy. 

I spent some time with Peter, as a past board member and also as a broadcaster and columnist for this magazine. One characteristic of his lingers with me as I ponder his impact. I’d show up at the studios, a hive of busyness with the whole Premier team hard at work. Peter occupied a modest office with glazed walls, and there were many times when he’d look up, spot me and wave me over. Welcoming me with a broad Geordie accent that always felt so warm, he was willing to suspend whatever he was doing for a few minutes of catch-up. 

The conversation would not be limited to ministry – there was always an enquiry as to how I was doing, and not just what I was doing. On occasion, it was my turn to tap on his door and interrupt him – but in the midst of incredible demands, he always found time. He was focused, visionary, driven for the kingdom, even – but he was willing to be interrupted. 

In our days, as we seek to corral our pesky phones and sprint through our pressing lists of tasks, let’s be open to the ministry of blessed interruptions. 

Thanks for modelling that for me, Peter. Now, you are experiencing your reward: eternity with Jesus and all his friends.