By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer
Mary was once a common name for Jewish girls. It’s been a common name for other girls as well, primarily because of the first Mary mentioned in the Bible who was, in my opinion, quite uncommon.
Uncommon because of the way she handled interruptions.
Like most of us, Mary had plans for her life. Probably in her mid-teens, she was engaged and planning for a wedding, a husband, and life as a Jewish wife and homemaker when God interrupted.
Who knows what Mary was in the middle of when a stranger showed up and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” (Luke 1:28 NLT).
She could have been folding laundry. She could have been frying pan bread. She could have been mending clothes and counting the days until the big event. It’s like God to show up in the mundane when we’re not expecting him.
But she listened to the messenger, asked a question, considered his explanation, and said, “Okay.”
That’s the part that amazes me about this Mary. She didn’t once say, “But I’ve made plans …” or “I have a life …” or “Now’s not a good time.”
She said okay (rough translation – see Luke 1:38).
That’s not exactly how I respond when my plans are interrupted.
Author and literary scholar, C.S. Lewis, says we should not regard unpleasant things as interruptions of our “own” or “real” life:
“The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life—the life God is sending one day by day.”
This season brings frequent references to Mary, so it may be the perfect time to transform our own reactions into responses—an exercise that involves choice.
Mary didn’t have to comply. She wasn’t forced to go along with the change of plans. She chose to.
And for what it’s worth, there is no scripture reference that the expectant Mary rode a donkey on her 90-mile trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem. It is a kindness we infer upon Joseph, her betrothed – the man entrusted by the Creator to care for the Savior of the world and His mother.
Clearly, Joseph was as uncommon and willingly obedient as Mary when God interrupted his life.
In the coming days and weeks, how will we handle things (like our temper and mood) when God interrupts our lives?
The Christmas Story:
(c) 2023 Davalynn Spencer, all rights reserved.
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