Recently, I had one of those days where I was completely set to dive into a pile of tasks and be super productive only to face constant interruption. I sat down at my desk with my computer and books and pen and lists, and I was set to go...or not.
I ended up nailed to my chair for an hour and a half while a co-worker nearly ran out of air as she spoke about everything under the sun. Seriously, she spoke went from politics to studying at university to religion to famine in Africa. It was a bit overwhelming, really. And, especially so as it was exclusively in Khmer. After nearly 2 hours, I had a pounding headache and not a single thing checked off my to-do list for the day.
I was annoyed by the interruption and was determined to avoid them for the afternoon.
But today, reality set in. My co-worker was sharing with me how much she values being able to talk to me about these things, about how she needs to be able to de-stress with someone because some things are just too heavy to carry around. And, I felt about 2 inches tall as I remembered how annoyed I was on that day of constant interruption. The truth is that I understand the importance of having a listening ear, of being able to share with someone who really "gets" it. I also understand that sometimes the need to word vomit does not come at the most opportune times. And, I realize that being a listening ear can be considerably more valuable than crossing things off of a list.
Perhaps I need to shift my perspective on interruptions and view them a bit more as opportunities. An opportunity to be patient. An opportunity to care about someone else. An opportunity to have compassion. An opportunity to be a bit more like Jesus...
"Then Jesus said, 'Let's go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.' He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and His apostles didn't even have time to eat. So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone. But many people recognized them and saw them leaving, and people from many towns ran ahead along the shore and got there ahead of them. Jesus saw the huge crowd as He stepped from the boat, and He had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So He began teaching them many things." Mark 6:31-34