I've come to believe that one aspect of maturity is the ability to see life's interruptions not as interruptions but as necessary events and journeys.
If we think of the unexpected as an interruption, then our attitude will be to get rid of it as fast as we can-so that we can get on with our "real" or "ordinary" life. This might work if the unexpected is a dead car battery or a phone call we don't really have time for. We jump the battery and tell the caller that "now really isn't a good time." Interruption handled!
But most interruptions are not so easily dispatched. A friend is in trouble and needs companionship for more than a few minutes. The tests come back from the doctor, and suddenly you or someone you love is on an altogether new and frightening path. A job is lost or changed. A tornado rips off the roof or a room. Or you wake up one day and must face the fatigue that has been dogging you for weeks. You know that it's time to get off the fast track and be kind to yourself. And that won't happen in an afternoon or a long weekend.
Interruptions are life. The unexpected is simply the life you have but don't yet know about. The wise woman accepts that reality. What does she do with the unexpected, the disruption, the unwelcome call or caller? She engages with it, with everything she has. She looks for the layer of grace and God-ness that is always there, somewhere and somehow. She pays attention and looks for the wisdom waiting to be tapped in the day that has suddenly changed direction.
This week, examine your days and identify the interruptions. Try to name them. Then name how they affect you emotionally, physically, spiritually. Then do your best to welcome them as true parts of your life and explore how you can engage them wisely and with faith.
This post originally appeared at the blog Days of Deepening Friendship.
Vinita Hampton Wright is author of Days of Deepening Friendship: For the Woman Who Wants an Authentic Life with God and an editor for Loyola Press.