I came to the church office early to get some things done. The doors were closed and I was deep into my morning devotional when someone knocked. It was the same someone who often knocks on my closed door.
I knew who it was from the sound of the knock. It’s one of those irritating knocks. It’s like fingernails on a chalkboard. For a moment I thought about sitting quietly and acting as if I wasn’t in but my truck was parked out front. He knew I was here. And since my office has no backdoor, I was trapped. Trapped like a rat.
I knew once I opened the door I would be in for 30 minutes of useless conversation. Idle chitchat. Meaningless blathering. Yes, it would be mildly amusing but I had things to do and I didn’t have time to waste. But I was trapped, so I answered the door.
Sure enough, it was thirty minutes before I got back to the important things I had to do. I had just wasted thirty minutes.
Later that morning I visited with a group of ladies here for their weekly Bible study. One of them pulled me aside to speak in private. She told me of a conversation she had a few moments earlier with my irritating knocker. Somehow, the conversation between this woman and the irritating knocker had turned to the topic of friendship. She asked the irritating knocker who his best friend was.
Can you guess who he named?
Me. The one who wanted to hide. The one who is so selfish he couldn’t spare thirty minutes.
I can’t tell you how much this tears me up. Sometimes God uses us in the strangest ways. Sometimes he uses the strangest situations to teach us something important.
What have I learned?
I’ve learned that what I consider to be an interruption may well be the most important thing God has for me to do at that moment. I’ve learned that people matter more to God than anything else. I’ve learned that I still have a lot of growing to do. I’ve learned that thirty minutes spent making someone laugh, or listening to their problems, or praying for them, or just chit-chatting with them is not wasted time when it’s done for the sake of the kingdom.