Just as I’m about to tell the punch line of my hilarious schnauzer joke, the server arrives with our chimichangas and the moment is lost. Or a conversation is hijacked, and before you know it we’re talking about someone else’s colonoscopy instead of mine.
Has this ever happened to you?
When we gather and talk with other people, interruptions are inevitable. Whether they’re due to busy waiters or loud noises or friends eager to share, chances are we’ll be verbally cut off.
But I’ve also noticed a curious side effect that can sometimes occur with interruptions.
Take, for instance, the time I was talking about an entertainer’s messy divorce during a group lunch. Another friend arrived right in the middle of my story. After all of the hugs and hellos, no one turned and eagerly begged me to continue. That brief pause gave me a moment to realize I was gossiping. I didn’t revive the conversation with “Anyway, as I was saying…” and blessedly, we simply moved on to the next topic.
Later, upon reflection, I was deeply grateful for the interruption that spared me regret and embarrassment. Right then I sent up a little prayer: Please, let me be interrupted when my talk is cheap. Help me to listen more and talk less.
Thankfully, sometimes a phone rings at just the right moment. A friend cuts in to share good news. A caring restaurant manager stops by to see if we enjoyed our meal.
And grace abounds.
P.S. Have you ever been interrupted at just the right time? I’d love to hear your stories.