Those of you who know me, know I’m TV obsessed. But that’s OKAY, I SWEAR, because I am constantly learning DEEP LIFE LESSONS from my favorite TV characters. I PROMISE. Take for instance, my recent binge-watching of Gilmore Girls in preparation for Netflix’s Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life reboot. It yielded me THIS gem, which to be honest, has really helped do a number on my own relationships.
“I don’t even like kids. They’re always sticky like they’ve got jam on their hands. Even if there’s no jam in the house, somehow, they’ve always got jam on their hands! I’m not the right guy to deal with that. I have no patience for jam hands!”
– Luke, Nick & Nora/Sid & Nancy (Gilmore Girls Season 2, Episode 5)
“Just a minute!” “Not now!” “Can’t you see I’m busy?”
Working from home means boundaries are constantly blurred at my house. And if I’m not careful I can begin treating my kids as interruptions. Exasperated by their incessant talking and fighting and wanting and needing, I forget that they are more important than any email or article or errand could be. Not because mothering is my only role or responsibility, but because they are people. They are my people. And they are right here, right now, right in front of my face.
Screen shot: YouTube
Once I start feeling annoyed more often than adoring, my bad attitude has just a short jump from my kids to my husband to all the other people in my life. I find myself with my head down, stuck in my computer or my phone or the dishwasher or the laundry, swatting away anyone who might request a moment of my time or attention.
And that’s when I miss it.
That’s when I miss the opportunity that interruptions often offer to encourage and engage with others (or be encouraged by them). Just like Luke, all I can see are the inconveniences people bring into my life – like jam hands (or long phone calls when, really, we could have done this over email).
When we are so focused on the schedule, the to-do list, the deadline, the projects that we view interactions with people as a hindrance to our work or ministry, we are missing the point. That’s not to say that our work or ministry isn’t important. But the example we have from Jesus is that children – and adults – were never interruptions, no matter how busy He was. And hello! He had a whole ministry and legacy to create in three short years.
So the next time you’re working at the coffee shop and a friend with a tendency to chat walks in, don’t duck behind your laptop. Take a moment to talk with her. And the next time your kids want you to stop making a grocery list to watch them practice their dance moves, their karate moves, their knock-down-the-block-tower moves, again, don’t sigh or think about how much you need to do.
The groceries, the list, the work – it will all wait. And it’s possible that all the interruptions keeping us from our real lives are what we need right now.
“Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.”
– Mark 10:14
If you’d like more encouragement like this, if you’re intrigued by the idea of a God and Gilmore Girls mashup, you can learn more (and get a copy of Fast Talk & Faith: A 22-Day Devotional Inspired by Gilmore Girls) at Amazon.