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Observations of Missionary Living: Interruptions are the Key to a Crucified Life

Published Mar 7, 2009

Jeanne Guyon once said that “Interruptions are the key to a crucified life.”  Someone else said that the “stressful visit that interrupted your study may well be the very lens through which the text will open to you as never before.” Read on to get a missionary’s perspective of a “normal” day.

 

Planning. Scheduling. Organizing. These are mainstays of the Western mindset. I must plan, schedule, and organize.

Then I moved to the jungle.

A Typical Clinic Day
 A Typical Bush Clinic Day!

More often than not, our days are unplanned here. Not that we don’t plan, mind you. It’s just that, well, things come up.

Medical missions is part of our outreach ministry. Since everyone in our region knows that my wife (the RN) treats everyone for everything, they show up every day. Never mind that clinic days are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The only time they usually have to wait is on Sunday, because we don’t see anyone on that day until after our church services are over.  “Except for emergencies” is our motto; and what isn’t an emergency? Malaria, typhoid, knife wounds…all of these cannot wait until “business hours.”

On a particular day we were supposed to work on language learning. Then two patients came to be transported over the mountain to the hospital. Then came another. By the time I was back at the mission station, my language helpers were gone. So what did I learn in language today? I guess I spent the majority of the day speaking in the two languages we are learning because our patients and their families don’t speak English. The little boy who walked with me to the village taught me how to say “We (two) are walking to the village,” along with some other words and phrases.

More importantly, I learned (again) that interruptions are the key to the crucified life. My plans are always to be subject to my Master Planner. His wisdom is infinitely higher than mine, and His path is much more worthwhile than mine. I will continue to plan, schedule, and organize; but daily I will lay these “desires” at the Cross of Christ that I may know Him better, and that my life may be more like His. God desires that I be conformed to the image of His Son, and I have noted that in my life, He engineers the conforming.

Let’s start tomorrow’s plans with a “Lord willing, we shall…” and allow Him to interrupt us as He pleases.