The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

April 5, 2014

It's puzzle pieces that make life whole

Keeping The Faith column

By Bev Davis

— Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published June 12, 2004. Davis passed away Aug. 1, 2010, of a sudden illness.

After a week’s vacation, I returned to work Monday.

You know the feeling. A thousand details — like puzzle pieces scattered all over the carpet — have to be assembled in a short span of time.

That would be relatively easy, were it not for one thing — interruptions.

I thought after 20 years here I would accept the fact I rarely finish anything on the first try. Not because I’m delinquent, but because my job revolves around lots of other people’s needs, schedules and tasks.

And, so, I trudged through the first day of the work week — one interruption at a time.

On Tuesday, I parked my car in the back lot and came inside to work. When I went back out to go for an interview, the car wouldn’t start. A tow truck fee and a new battery installation later, I made it to most places I needed to be, but the interruption of car service had definitely slowed down progress.

I had scheduled the car for some body work, so the remainder of the week found me making any number of alternate transportation plans.

Interruptions, interruptions and more interruptions.

I began to look at the word and break it down from its Latin root “inter,” which means “between.” I chuckled as I applied the meaning to the rest of the word, which could make it translate, “Between eruptions.”

That about says it all, doesn’t it?

In today’s world, most of us travel from crisis to crisis — eruption to eruption — with a bunch of interruptions scattered in between.

Until now, I’ve always seen these unexpected events that intersect our day-to-day routines as happenstances that originate outside the normal scheme of things.

This week made me see them differently.

I’m starting to believe they come to us by Divine design and are woven into the fabric of our days with the same precise direction a weaver applies to the threads on a loom.

Interruptions test what we truly believe about life, faith, God, other people and our inner motives.

Interruptions can be nuisances or blessings. We can decide which they will be for us.

In most cases, they force us to give our attention to someone else. In this ego-centered world, that’s not a bad thing. Interruptions give us a chance to practice faith, patience, perseverance and other character-building traits.

When I look at interruptions as a natural part of the ebb and flow of my day, they play a more positive role in my life. When I no longer see them as “outside” the realm of the things I need to accomplish, the interruptions form a meaningful pattern in the patchwork of my day.

When the threads of my faith, philosophy of life and purity of motives are securely fastened, I don’t become unraveled by interruptions. Instead, they become the ties that bind me to all the scattered puzzle pieces that make my life whole.