Welcome the uninvited

House Martins Feeding

Some guests turn up uninvited, like a pair of house martins that decided to nest on our home. It can be easy to jump straight to listing all the negatives – the mess, the noise, etc. – but there were positives to their sudden appearing, too. We got to observe stunning displays of lightning-fast aerial acrobatics and hone my camera skills to have any chance of getting any photos, to name but two! In fact, when the cheeping stopped and we no longer had to duck as low-flying birds whizzed across the garden, we found that we missed them.

It is easy to get into the habit of being so controlling of our lives and surroundings that we react grumpily rather than with joy when something or someone comes along and disturbs us – even if that someone is God.

But, life and God are not predictable. Times of stability are not down to our incredible powers of control, but something granted to us. Times of change can likewise come along without us choosing them. Although it might not seem so on occasion, being “interrupted” can be a good thing – it reminds us that we are not the centre of the universe, with everything revolving around our wants. We are there for others and most importantly for God.

Not everything that interrupts us is bad; it may be very good. Some events can be hard to categorise neatly as either particularly “good” or “bad”. The important thing is how we react to them. Are we only seeing the negative? Can we find any positive angle? What opportunities might this interruption afford us? What might we see that otherwise we would miss?

I’m grateful for the house martins interrupting us. They gave us a chance to witness something beautiful and to capture images that otherwise I would never have had. Ok, so it might not be the most disruptive thing that could have happened, but not all interruptions are huge. Learning how to benefit from the minor ones may well help us to deal with the bigger ones.

How have you been interrupted lately? Was your first reaction positive or negative? Could you find anything to draw you closer, to open your eyes to something God has done or something in you?

© Joe Lenton, August 2012

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