Most women I know, myself included, pride themselves in this ability – we can be standing in the kitchen, pots on the stove, setting the table, emptying the dishwasher, reading over notes for a meeting tomorrow, and listening to the phone on our ear. You know, the older I get, the less I believe in multi-tasking.
Wednesday was one of those days. I had three ginormous stacks of papers on my desk (I think the lowest part of the stack was a few months old), dozens of emails, meetings to prep for, calendars to review, strategies to think about, phone calls to return, partners to contact, and quite honestly, vascillating between the desire to crawl under my desk to hide and becoming a disengaged unstoppable machine.
I did neither, thank goodness.
I prayed for grace and just did the best I could. I missed some emails, returned some calls a day late, but I did the best I could and because I stayed engaged, I was available for interruptions… lots of them.
Maybe interruptions are the best part of our day… most of the time, because interruptions are people – the most important thing in this world.
Multi-tasking is inevitable – after all, healthy lives grow and like the old proverb says, “The world of the generous gets larger and larger.” So if multi-tasking is not my soon to be enemy, perhaps disengagement is. The definition of the word means: To release (oneself) from an engagement, pledge, or obligation; to free or detach oneself; withdraw.
Imagine how dangerous disengagement is within certain contexts – marriage, friendship, and no matter what job you’re in, the decisions you make affect people, and if allow ourselves to take on machine mentalities as we make choices, it’s a slippery slope.
The Apostle Paul instructs us to take every thought we have captive to the obedience of Christ (by the way, he had much bigger fish to fry than I do – writing letters to the entire church in various regions… sometimes from jail, shipwrecks, beatings, floggings, raising up the next generation, dealing with sex scandals, cultivating unity in diversity… he had no car, cell phone… just pen and paper… his feet – I think I’m good). Busy thoughts, worry filled thoughts, anxious thoughts, nonstop strategy thoughts, check my phone every 60 seconds thoughts all can be submitted to Christ who takes our burdens because He cares for us.
Psalm 46:1 says that God is our Refuge, our very present help in time of need. Presence could be the greatest gift we have to offer – its certainly what people seem to remember later in life. Not what we bought, how many emails we checked, how many things we crossed off the “to do” list. Were we there? Were we present? Were we engaged?
My prayer these days is for the Lord to arrest my affections. Arrest my attention. I don’t want to miss this moment called now. What about you? Are you hiding under your desk? Are you operating like a mindless robot? What can you do to re-engage?