Do you ever get in a snit when the people in your life unexpectedly change your plans? I certainly wasn’t expecting visitors to arrive one and a half hours early while I was still in my pajamas.
After a leisurely Sunday breakfast, I was cleaning the kitchen while my husband took our daughter to skating practice. I looked at the clock. If I timed everything just right, I could take a shower and finish preparing lunch for fifteen people before our house church started at noon.
The doorbell interrupted my thoughts. The first guests had already arrived.
Panicked, I ran down the hall to my son’s room.
“Andres!” I called. “Answer the door! I’ve got to take a shower!”
I raced into the bathroom, locked the door, and somehow emerged fifteen minutes later with clothes and makeup on. I’d love to say I was calm and peaceful while I made tea and talked with our visitors, but I’d be lying. On the inside I was hot and bothered and fretting over how I was going to have lunch ready for our house church.
I worried needlessly. Everything turned out fine, and we had a great meeting.
Believe it or not, I’ve found myself in pajamas when guests arrive lots of times.
I live in the Middle East, where spontaneity reigns supreme. People arrive late, early, or they may pop in for a surprise. You plan tea and cake for three ladies, and eight show up.
Kind of hard for a planner girl like me. A girl trying to be Jesus to the people around her. Only they can’t really see Him if she’s in a snit because they’re bumping into her plans.
People Change Our Plans
You probably face unexpected interruptions because you have people in your life too. The school calls to say your child is sick. Your teen ran out of contact lens solution. Your husband needs a favor. Most days bring at least one assignment you didn’t count on.
I get frustrated more often than I’d like to admit when my people need something I didn’t expect. It goes to show how selfish I can be. I’m probably the only one who reacts this way, but just in case you do too, here’s a plan we can work on together:
How to Not Get Hot and Bothered by Interruptions
1. Kiss the Old You Goodbye
The Old Betsy gets bent out of shape when someone needs a favor she wasn’t expecting. She gets a martyr complex and starts an inner rant about boundaries. If you’re anything like me, stop in your tracks and tell that Old You to take a hike.
2. Let God Renew Your Attitude
Of course we need healthy boundaries, but sometimes what we view as an interruption might be God’s assignment. Will we be faithful and go the extra mile to serve someone else? As we ask the Holy Spirit to change our attitude, He’ll give us the grace we need.
3. Put on the New You
Think about how Jesus would respond in your situation. Then in faith put on a smile and do that. Do that Jesus thing. Put on the New You, the one created to be like God.
The next time someone needs something I didn’t expect, I don’t want to get crabby on them. Instead, I want to consider that it might be God’s assignment, an opportunity to step out and put on the New Me.
Now it’s your turn: How do you handle it when people bump into your plans?