When You Need to Hear the Truth

Earlier this week I was talking to some friends before a meeting. One friend who has a reputation for being blunt looked at me and said, “You’ve gained weight!” He hadn’t seen me in a couple of months, and I guess he felt the need to let me know I’d packed on a few extra pounds.

I was surprised and slightly annoyed at his observation, but he was right. I have gained some weight this winter. It is mostly the result of a hiatus from running to recover from an injury, and now that I’m slowly working my way back to running, I think those few pounds will come off.

Still, I messed up. When I wasn’t running this winter, I could have exercised in different ways. Or, I could have been more careful about my nutrition, cutting back on eating things that aren’t good for me. But I didn’t do either. Fortunately, I have a friend who cares about me enough to speak the truth to me. He didn’t speak from a position of criticism or ridicule, but of concern for my well-being. I could respond defensively and dismissively, but I won’t. I have heard the truth, loud and clear. It’s time to re-commit to good nutrition and exercise.

Reflections from Pastor Erik: Interruptions

Last month, my father missed his flight coming home from a church mission trip. As a result, I was forced to stay up late, pick him up around midnight, and bring him back to my house. Since he was tired, I let him sleep in the next morning. Later that morning, I drove him to my sister’s house in Dormont so he could babysit along with my mother, who was already there.

The whole thing was an inconvenience. It upset my sleep rhythm for a whole week, and it kept me out of the office on a Monday morning – usually my most productive office time. But I did it anyway, remembering all the times as a child when my working parents graciously rearranged their schedule for my needs. Now it was time to return the favor.

Interruptions can be a pain. But this time, I recognized the opportunity it provided. I wasn’t expecting to see my dad at all that weekend. Instead, we spent almost 2 hours in the car, as well as a relaxing morning at home, engaging in good conversation. That time of connecting wouldn’t have happened without his interrupted travel and my interrupted schedule.

During Lent, my small group read a devotion called “Interruptions” by Jacob Armstrong. It has taught us to see interruptions as opportunities to encounter God or to share God’s love. Jesus was often interrupted, and he often interrupted others.

Interruptions are places where God can speak to us and provide lessons for us. Or they can be places where we become frustrated, annoyed, or anxious. It’s up to you: how will you handle the interruptions in your life today?