Our lives are affected not only by our own decisions but also by outside forces, be they for, against or ambivalent to us. Everyone from the neighbors (whose first names we can’t remember) to family members living in our own homes can change the course of our day.
An emergency phone call.
A juicy bit of gossip.
A complaint about something.
An email. You know, one of those emails.
A request for immediate assistance.
A passive-aggressive text message.
It can become day after day of frustration to think about how off-center from your own objectives you can get when you consider all of the external impact others make into your life.
The interruptions are the point.
C.S. Lewis once wrote this to a friend.
“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own’, or ‘real’life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life – the life God is sending one day by day: what one calls one’s ‘real life’ is a phantom of one’s own imagination.”
(from a 1943 letter from C.S. Lewis, included in Yours, Jack: Spiritual Direction from C.S. Lewis)
Perhaps the interruptions, the outside impact of others inour own lives, is the point of life. What if the best future forus as humans is to continue to evolve into the potential community we are best designed to live in?
How many times has your life been changed because ofthe interruption you caused in someone else’s life? Whenyou collided your journey with someone else, how did youchange? Even in less than ideal situations, hasn’t each encounter made you smarter, stronger, better for what you experienced and went through?
As you move with haste and purpose through this week, here’s to your next collision with someone else’s life, whether you initiate it or they do. May your impact upon one another be seen less as a burden, and more as a way the universe has bent into our favor. We are our best selves when we live with each other. We can best learn to create harmony only when we are near enough to each other to see each other closely.
Here’s to Newtonian Law working in our lives.
Associate Pastor @ North Scottsdale United Methodist Church