After taking off work, getting up earlier than usual, and driving over an hour and a half in rush hour traffic to get to our appointment, I wasn’t happy to find out the doctor had cancelled without notice. That Bible verse about taming the tongue came in handy right about then. So instead of calling the doctor to demand he pack up his golf clubs and keep his originally scheduled commitment, I took my kids to the downstairs gym.
While I continued in my attempts to suppress a barrage of choice words about our MIA doctor, my daughter quickly made friends with a precious boy who insisted we stay for wheelchair basketball. The boy was so charming, so joyful despite his circumstances. We couldn’t resist his invitation.
Six hours later, we were on the sidelines, believing we’d be watching the tournament. Instead, the staff rolled out enough wheelchairs that we all could play with the boy and a few of his friends. My daughter flew around on her chair like a pro while I struggled to keep up. In the end, we had the most fun we’d had in awhile and made some new friends in the process.
If not for my easy-going daughter, I might have had a meltdown that day instead of a blast. She’s not concerned with delays, floating through life as though stress were not a dictionary term. She saw the interruption as an opportunity to make friends and have some fun along the way. And I’m glad she did! Because of her worry-free outlook, we got to know that little 7-year old inspiration and to be on his winning team. It was worth the unexpectedly cancelled doctors appointment and the extra six hour wait at the children’s hospital.
I try to keep the memory of that day in mind whenever I encounter what I perceive to be interruptions. It’s easy to get stressed when things don’t go my way, but maybe my way wasn’t the way the day was supposed to go. When I learn to see interruptions as opportunities, more possibilities unfold than I could have imagined had I remained trapped in the realm of disappointment.
“My whole life I complained that my work was being interrupted until I realized that the interruptions were my work.” (Henri Nouwen)
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