True influence comes from serving others.

With Jesus as the model, we know that as Christ followers, Christians, we have the ability to influence others. Culture tells us that our influence comes from our ability to have power over others while God’s Word tells us that the opposite is true. Our influence comes from our ability to serve other people.

One of the ways that we serve others is by allowing interruptions during our day in order to meet the needs of other people. Moms of preschoolers can check this off of their list because they are meeting the needs of others 24/7. In the dead of the night, they meet the needs of others.

I don’t like to be interrupted. I like to interrupt others, but don’t necessarily like to be interrupted. I have a schedule. I have an agenda. I have things that need to be done at certain times, in a certain time limit, and I have no room for interruptions. However, God has different plans and this is an area that I need to work on in my life, and when I ignore God’s tugs, when I disobey, I suffer. I miss out the learning’s and character development that God has planned.

The other day I was almost home from my jog. It was my day off, and I was anxious to get home to begin my day, the day that I had all planned out perfectly. I saw this older woman and young boy walking up the hill. The boy was carrying a yellow envelope in his hand which I recognized from my daughter’s pile of papers as school registration information. The nearest school was a mile away and God prompted me to ask the two of them if they needed a ride someplace. I wanted to just jog the rest of the way to my house and get going on my schedule, but God kept telling me to stop.

When I offered a ride to the boy and his mother, they were grateful, and said that they would wait while I ran home to get my car. In the one mile drive to the middle school, I discovered that the two of them lived at the Orange County Rescue Mission since they recently lost their Section 8 housing. I learned that they love the Lord, and are struggling to get to Colorado where they have family but are at the mercy of the state for funding in order to make this happen. I learned that they have a nice room where they live, but the donated food is often old and lacks nutritional value. I learned that they take the bus to places that their bikes are too far to ride. I learned that this interruption was important, and that God’s plans are never happenstance.

After praying for the boy and his mom, dropping them off at their destination, and emptying out the contents of my wallet to help them with the purchase of some fruits and vegetables, which held only fourteen dollars, I promised to return and try and locate them in order to give them a ride back down the hill to the bus stop.

When I arrived home and gave the details of my encounter to my family, they quickly gathered clothing and a backpack, money they had been saving, and other items that would be necessary for a seventh grade boy starting the school year. God was tugging on their hearts too.

I loaded my car with clothes and shoes, and hoped to meet the couple before they descended down the hill to the bus stop knowing that there was a chance that I had missed them, but prayed continuously that I had not.
As I approached the school I saw them, and quickly pulled over to escort them into my car. As we drove to McDonald’s for lunch, and to say good-by, I reminded them that God has a perfect plan for them that He loves them, and that His timing is perfect.

I drove home with such satisfaction and peace, feeling appreciative for the opportunity that God gave me to serve His people.

Interruptions, grand interruptions, moments when God stops us and opens a door on someone else’s life in order to develop our character and serve others, I welcome God’s interruptions.