Skip to main content

Interruptibility

mask
When a group of racers returns from their year abroad, we invite them to Georgia and put on a week of seminar talks, parties, and coaching sessions that we call Project Searchlight. It’s a lot of fun and gets high marks. My part is to be around and to be interruptible. I’d rather show up with my…
By Seth Barnes

When a group of racers returns from their year abroad, we invite them to Georgia and put on a week of seminar talks, parties, and coaching sessions that we call Project Searchlight. It’s a lot of fun and gets high marks. My part is to be around and to be interruptible.

I’d rather show up with my prepared talks and Powerpoint slides, but lately it hasn’t gone that way. Instead, God has side-swiped me and asked me to share something else. I either set aside my agenda, or I risk missing his. Afterwards, if someone wants to interrupt my schedule and ask for help, I make myself available.

This week I sensed God asking me to share about how we need to prioritize our need for community. I made the point that when Jesus left his disciples, they didn’t disperse. They stayed together and prayed. In the hotbed of community, revolution was born.  In the atmosphere of prayer, the fires of kingdom passion were stoked.  Returning racers need to look to one another to stoke the fires within them.

I think it was what they needed to hear, but it’s not what I came prepared to say.

The idea of interruptibility doesn’t fit well with the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It’s not “beginning with the end in mind” or “putting first things first.” It’s not efficient and isn’t taught in business school.

On the other hand, when you’re interruptible, you are accessible and you’re human. People know that you care. They feel like they’re important. Whatever your age, whether someone like me, almost a granddad, or a child tugging on her mommy’s skirts, we all need to know that we’re important enough for people to pay attention to us.

Our staff know they can drop by my office and I’ll try to set aside what I’m doing and give them the time they need. Yes, there’s a downside to being interruptible. Lincoln made room to meet with the common man and it exhausted him. Moses had the same problem. They both learned that they needed to draw the line somewhere.

But when it comes to following God, interruptibility is essential. If he can’t get our attention and if he can’t trust us to listen to or obey his voice, what point is there in speaking to us?

As a leader, my moral authority doesn’t only come from my integrity, it comes from my intimacy with the Father. Those that follow me want to know that I’ll follow hard after him and that if he speaks to me, I’ll pay attention and prioritize what he says over my own agenda. That’s the essence of interruptibility.

What does your interruptibility say about the kind of friend you are? What does it say about the kind of disciple you are or the kind of leader you are?

Comments (8)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

about team