Keeping a Holey Schedule

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.”
–Socrates

You read that right. There's no spelling error in the title of this post. One of my church planting coaches once advised my team to keep what he called a “holey” schedule. I thought it was a clever play on words. He encouraged us to keep a schedule that was “holy” where God and His purposes where at the very center. At the same time, he encouraged us to keep a schedule that was “holey” where we could allow interruptions to occur during our day—divine appointments that are ultimately ordained and set by God.

For the past 6 months, I have found that God loves to interrupt me on a regular basis. I frequent a particular coffee shop which is right by my home. I go there almost every single day to get my cup of coffee and to get some work done. And although I may want to be just left alone, I find that God loves to interrupt me there. In fact, I'm quite used to it now. I’ve had some meaningful conversations with staff members, other frequent customers, and complete strangers. And many of these encounters have led to some deep spiritual conversations.

I’ve learned to keep a holey schedule and simply be open to any opportunities that come my way. If I’m too busy, I could easily miss out on these divine appointments. I could be so self-absorbed with my work that I may fail to take hold of an encounter that’s right in front of me. Nowadays, I’m quite used to closing my laptop whenever somebody comes by to say “hello” or when the person next to me just wants to chat. I never know when any of these interruptions will take a turn towards something more meaningful.

I find that these interruptions are often special moments—God-ordained times of conversation. It’s not an unusual idea. People in the Bible were often interrupted as they were going about doing something else. On the way to heal Jairus’ daughter, Jesus was interrupted by a woman who needed healing (Matt. 5:22-34). He stopped to minister to her. On the way to the time of prayer, Peter and John where interrupted by a lame beggar (Acts 3:1-10). They too stopped to minister to this man. Sometimes, the best ministry happens as we are on our way to do something else. And if we allow these opportunities to interrupt us, they can lead to some special and meaningful times. So keep a schedule that is both holy and holey. You never know what God might want to do with your day.