Spontaneous Blog Or Can You Handle Interruptions?

To keep things fresh, and as a writing exercise, I decided to write my blog this week without any preset topic or idea in mind. Writers are observers by nature. We see something and we become inspired. Once inspired, we write. So, as I went through the last few days, I had to fight the urge to turn something I observed into material for this blog. This was not so easy, as everything is material.

Can you handle interruptions?

I don’t know about you, but I tend to be a planner. I do enjoy the occasional spontaneous moment or happening (strong emphasis on occasional). I prefer having my day mapped out ahead of time. As I get older, I also find having a daily agenda keeps me on track and helps insure I accomplish any errands or tasks.

I like lists. I like to check items off these lists. I like it when the list is done. In a perfect world, I would glide through my lists without a hitch or hiccup. Each item would be tackled without any distractions, interruptions, or sidebars.

In a perfect world.

But we don’t live in a perfect world. This means my agenda is sometimes altered. For example, I intended to write this blog on Tuesday and post it Wednesday. When Tuesday arrived, I found myself not feeling well and really needing to take the day to rest and recover. Not a huge deal, but still an unplanned deviation from my schedule. In this instance, I wasn’t too bothered because the intrusion was self-generated.

What happens when someone else creates the disruption?

It’s one thing for me to decide to change my plan, but when someone else is the author of that change, I don’t always handle it very well. How about you?

Don’t get me wrong, some interruptions are blessings. A surprise call from a friend, a sudden chance to spend time with loved ones, a last-minute decision to go somewhere can all be wonderful examples.

There are other interruptions, however, which can prove less pleasant. A couple of suboptimal situations could be you’re running late because you suddenly can’t find your keys, or a call stops the flow of the project you’re working on.

These kinds of deviations tend to take us out of what we were doing. They don’t usually add value. It’s an uneven exchange. If I stop a task to spend time with a loved one, I’m at least breaking even, or more likely, coming out ahead. But if I’m stopped to spend time looking for my keys, I consider it a net loss. Lost time looking for the keys and getting stressed out because I can’t find them, followed by a quick wash of relief when I do find them, followed by panic because I’m now running way behind schedule. Little upside. Net loss.

How would you handle if God upset your plans?

As a Christian, I’ve encountered this situation many times. Let me state upfront, God’s involvement is never for your detriment. I have to remind myself He is all-seeing and all-knowing. I am not. If He’s putting the brakes on something I’m trying to do, or if He’s redirecting me, it’s because where I was headed was not the best option.

Is it a good idea or a God idea? 

I know this is a cliché, but clichés exist for a reason. There is a difference between our best plan and God’s for us. What do I mean? I’m so glad you asked. I’m a writer. I have a plan for this career, the arenas I want to share my writing, the different entertainment venues I may choose to showcase it. Sounds like a good idea, right?

What I’ve learned to do is not suppose my idea is the best one. Whenever I submit a piece to a publication for possible inclusion, I’ve learned to say a quick “your will not mine, Lord” as I click the submit button. To be honest, at first it was a bit more lip service than true declaration. I had a good idea that my story would be a great fit for a publication. A few weeks or months later, the rejection notice would arrive. After repeating the cycle of submit, hope, wait, rejection a few dozen times, I had a little chat with the Lord. The gist of that conversation was, “What’s going on?!”

I honestly believe my writing is a gift from Him. That’s not hyperbole. I pray before I begin writing anything. I believe His Holy Spirit inspires and helps craft my stories. So, if I’ve got all this on my side, why wasn’t any of my work chosen in the last month? This is usually when I’m reminded to trust Him in all things.

I won’t lie and say it doesn’t get frustrating. That’s when I need to remember my gift is not my own and I do want it to be used for His glory. With time (and lots of prayer), I’ve gotten a little better in this area. I’m now able to process the shift a little quicker. I soothe myself by saying, “That just wasn’t it.” I have to believe He knows what’s best and He’s leading me to it. I also have to remember He knows the beginning, middle, and end. I’m slightly more myopic, focused on the here and now. He sees the whole picture. He knows the right arenas, connections, relationships I should have to take this career where He wants it to go. It may be my hands on the keyboard, but His hands on the outcome.

I like my plans. But I love my God. And that has made all the difference.

Until next time, stay happy, stay healthy, stay in the know.

Look forward to hearing from you.


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