Luke 1:26-33: "In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
Learning to ski is an exhausting task. Beginners fall endlessly, and after just a few hours of trying to stay upright, they find themselves beyond tired.
Beginners are often told to use a tow rope to get up the bunny hill. The tow rope is a cruel joke. It’s meant to pull beginners up the hill with ease, to help them avoid getting on and off the chair lift (another daunting task). But instead, the tow rope can be a source of even greater exhaustion and embarrassment. As you grab onto the rope, all you need to do is face forward and let the rope pull you up the hill. Seems like a fine idea—until you hit a bump or a groove and lose your balance.
Skiers on the tow rope bobble and waver; they try desperately to stay upright and then, eventually, they fall. Determined, they often refuse to let go. Arms outstretched, skis dragging behind, they hang on. Their gloves might rip, their skis might pop off. Onlookers often holler, “Just let go! Just let go!” With great fear in their eyes, they look over at the line of people watching them and they just hang on. Their faces collecting snow like a plow, they keep at it. It’s rare to see the tenacity and commitment to a cause that you see on a beginner slope on a ski hill.
This is what’s it’s like with Mary. She’s a girl interrupted. God steps into her story and transforms what would have been an ordinary life with the extraordinary. This can be true for us. God steps into our lives from time to time with a divine interruption. That is because God has a purpose for our lives that rarely matches our own. When God interrupts us, when we find the purpose we have been called to chase after, we hang on like a beginner skier being towed up the bunny hill. We face the fear, the culture, the onlookers, the naysayers, and we hang tight. Annie Dillard once wrote, “I think it would be well, and proper, and obedient, and pure, to grasp your one necessity and not let it go, to dangle from it limp wherever it takes you.”
This is what it means to let God interrupt our lives. Like Mary’s story, it means we will have to commit to the cause, to hang onto the rope of faith regardless of how it pulls and drags us. God asks us to grasp his true purpose for us and hold tight. “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love” (1 Cor. 16:13-14).
Prayer: Father we thank You that You have a plan for our lives beyond the norm. That you interrupt our lives with Your purpose and plans. Help us to hold on. Help us to never let go. In Jesus name, amen.