How to Multitask in 3 Easy... What? Were you saying something? Because if you were I missed it, sorry, I was typing.
On one side we have our culture screaming at us to do more, better, faster, smarter, everything at once. On the other we’ve got the experts telling us multitasking is physically impossible for our brains and will probably destroy us and all we hold dear. So…cool.
Maybe you’ve been here: You’re checking your e-mail or scrolling through Facebook or thinking through your massive to-do list, and someone begins to speak to you. Someone you love perhaps. And you think you’re listening. You really believe it. You’re sure your brain can handle these two simple tasks at once. So when that person says, “Did you hear what I said?” you answer, “Mmhm.”
But then comes the dreaded, “Well, what did I say?”
And you realize you have no idea.
If you Google the word “multitasking,” you’ll get a whole host of articles and research studies and podcasts agreeing that when people call themselves “good multitaskers,” they’re fooling themselves. Some of us may be able to switch from one thing to the next very quickly, but our attention can only truly be on one thing at a time. Trying to do several things at once can leave you stressed, your tasks poorly or half done, your heart unfed, and your priorities out of whack. Sort of like that Martha vs. Mary thing (Luke 10:38-42). I’ve done this dance so many times I think I’ve finally gotten to the point where I can admit my ability to multitask is garbage and move on. And ahh, I can tell you, that was a load off my mind.
But then I came upon these verses in 1 Thessalonians 5:
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Whoa, Lord, whoa! Hang on! Rejoice always? Pray without ceasing? Give thanks in all circumstances? No, but I just accepted that I can’t do more than one thing at a time! How can I rejoice while I’m trying to explain to a six-year-old why he may not use that word? How can I pray while I’m talking to my boss at work? How in the world am I supposed to give thanks while I’m rushing through the store to find that last minute birthday gift I forgot?
How could I ever have that kind of relationship with You? That sounds like multitasking! I can’t multitask, Lord. You created me. You know this.
…for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Of course He knows we can’t. We physically cannot. That is what’s so wonderful. Almighty, Creator God who can know everything, all at once, has willed it to be so. In Christ Jesus. For us. Not against us. Not to knock us down or burden us. But for us. For our good. Through His power, I can filter the chaos of my broken life through the perfection and the healing might of Jesus Christ. That doesn’t mean I don’t have to still deal with all the broken things. But what a difference knowing Jesus makes. What a vast distance there is between my own, knee-jerk, selfish responses to people, and the way I can respond with His grace by His grace. So He gets all the glory.
Father, knowing I can’t is initially stressful and intimidating. But it’s so freeing when I realize You can. I’m relying on You for the supernatural ability to rejoice and to pray and to give thanks in every moment, even when my mind feels too cluttered to even think straight. You are my Lord and my God. I believe Your promises, and I live for every glimpse of Your glory.
Do you ever feel as unequipped for life as your brain is for multitasking? What are some ways God has proven He can do what is impossible for man to do?