An Eternal Interruption
I honestly imagined rock bottom would be darker. The words “rock bottom” have always made me think of dark alleys, broken street lights, and dumpsters with graffiti all over them. For me, though, I slammed into spiritual rock bottom during my sophomore year of college.
It was not the dark and dingy alley of my imagination but rather the slightly stained and chipped off white linoleum floor of my kitchen. That is where I sat, collapsed really, and broke down. It was one of the hardest realizations I have ever had to come to -- to admit that I had put so many idols above God in my own life. I’m grateful now for this night and for the clarity with which I can remember it. I’m grateful that Jesus came and completely interrupted my plans and schemes. I’m grateful that He began teaching me in this moment to see these interruptions that would become a theme of my spiritual maturity.
Mark 15 tells a similar story of Jesus’ interrupting nature. It mentions a man named Simon of Cyrene. He doesn’t even get a full paragraph, but it only takes a moment with Jesus for his life to be radically interrupted. Simon and his boys were likely traveling to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover during Jesus’ trail. They were traveling into Jerusalem from northern Africa for celebration! Jesus was being led from Jerusalem to Golgatha for crucifixion. Simon, minding his own business, is pulled from the crowd as a weak and wounded Jesus passes and is forced to carry His cross. Talk about an interruption.
That’s all we hear about Simon of Cyrene in the Gospels. However, we do get mention of a character at the end of Romans named Rufus, a leader in the Roman church, who many scholars believe was Simon’s son. If that is the case, then Jesus interrupted Simon’s life so greatly that this meeting altered its entire trajectory.
You see, when Jesus interrupts our lives it is not for a moment. It is an eternal interruption. The entire trajectory of Simon’s life, of every day that followed for himself and for his family, was altered in a radical way by this meeting with Jesus. We see that, too, in Jesus’ meetings with the disciples, with the woman at the well, with Nicodemus and, hopefully, in our own lives.
When I found myself on the floor of my kitchen completely oblivious to how pathetic I would look if someone came in, I somehow found the words to thank Jesus for this interruption. You see, it is important that we are wise stewards of the blessings and responsibilities the Lord has entrusted to us. It is important we perform our duties, even the menial ones, with grace and skill worthy of a King. It was important that Simon of Cyrene teach his young boys the Passover rituals and reasons. But it was more important that He not miss this interruption from Jesus.
It is so much more important that we encounter Jesus where we are and along every road we travel. This interruption for Simon wasn’t just a moment. It was an eternal interruption. May we see where the Lord is coming into our own lives to do the same. - Jason Simon, Minister to Students