Around the Corner
Interruptions as Opportunities
By Chaplain (CPT) David Dodson
An unwritten rule in my house is the “Interrupt Dad” rule. This rule states, “If at any time you are in need of assistance (for anything) stop right where you are and yell, ‘Dad,’ at the top of your lungs. If Dad does not immediately appear continue until Dad stops what he is doing and arrives to help.”
Quite frankly, I don’t like the “Interrupt Dad” rule because it, well, interrupts me. It impedes me from accomplishing the task at hand. Like me, you probably struggle with small, daily interruptions to some degree.
I describe another category of interruptions as life interruptions. Life interruptions don’t occur daily, but they are more significant when they happen. On New Year’s Eve, my family experienced a life interruption when my unit was alerted to go to the Middle East to help defend our nation against the growing Iranian threat. Four days later, I was on a plane bound for Kuwait. My first deployment was a “no notice” one, with very little time to prepare myself and my family for an indeterminate number of months separated. Our life as a family came to a screeching halt!
In the spirit of transparency, I admit that many days while in the Middle East I struggled with this unexpected life interruption, but I also learned a great lesson from it. Interruptions can be opportunities in disguise. Throughout the Bible, God interrupted the lives of people like Abraham, Moses, Daniel, Mary, and Peter. Each time, the interruption had opportunities to be taken advantage of for Kingdom purpose. And, so did mine.
On a personal level, God used those months in the desert to stretch my faith painfully, but fruitfully, as my daily dependence on His strength and grace grew. As a chaplain, I had unprecedented opportunities to teach the Scriptures and share the gospel with my paratroopers, as I had a more captive and willing audience. One specific opportunity God afforded was to share the gospel with a particular infantryman in his early 20s. Only weeks earlier, this young man held a pistol to his throat, ready to end it all. Thankfully, God sent someone to stop him, saving his life. And, thankfully, God interrupted my life that I might be in the right place and right time to see Jesus Christ save his soul.
God gave me a new perspective in the wilderness: interruptions are opportunities, and we must take advantage. You see, during those months, I realized I have had the wrong attitude when the “Interrupt Dad” rule is used. Instead of looking at these interruptions as annoying, I need to look at them as opportunities—opportunities to spend time with those I love most and pour into their lives. During the months separated from my family, I would have given anything to be interrupted by the sound of one of my children calling “Dad!”
About the Writer: Chaplain (CPT) David Dodson serves in the U.S. Army and is currently stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Learn more about Free Will Baptist chaplain ministry: fwbnam.com/chaplaincy.