Making the Most of Our Multi-Tasking Abilities

We women tend to be multi-taskers.

We try to squeeze as much as we can into a given moment- carrying the groceries in (loaded down like a donkey), calling instructions to the kids over our shoulder, using the tiniest sliver of our index finger (otherwise weighed down with groceries) to open the gate, kicking the gate closed with our feet, already mentally planning which steps need to be done in which order, in order to have dinner prepared in less than 20 minutes, so we can nurse the baby when he wakes up in 25 minutes.

But sometimes there's a tendency to think that we have to have silence and solitude in order to meditate or enter into spiritual truth in a deep way.  That the schedule has to be cleared in order to intake spiritual "food".  That if we could just get away from daily demands, THEN we'd have time to retreat and find rest for the soul.

But one of the things I've come to know in the last eleven years as a mom is this: silence and solitude and beautiful and rare... but a peaceful heart and calm spirit can happen in any setting, at any time.

Let me keep this short.  Basically, I try to (as often as possible) combine one item from list A with one item from list B:

In a nutshell, use those times where the mind is free to fill it up with things that are meaty and spiritual and encouraging.  Don't let the time fritter away and go to waste.  That's not to say every moment has to be filled with noise.  Moments of just letting my mind be at rest, and nestling into solitude, can be healing and helpful.

But our minds are not naturally bent toward godliness.  

If we perpetually give our minds nothing on which to focus, we will easily drift into self-focus--  replaying hurtful conversations, mentally jotting down a list of things we "never" get or "always" have to do, replaying compliments and reviewing "successes", or replaying hurt and criticism and reviewing failures.  Or we can drift into busybodying about others-- reviewing things they did (or didn't) say, things they did (or didn't) do, thinking of things they should (or shouldn't) say, things they should (or shouldn't) do.

Instead, I most often click on my audioBible or head to YouTube (or one of my apps) and turn on a sermon by Chandler, Piper, Chan, Harris, or Driscoll.

Let me encourage you to try it-- or do it more often-- give your mind something on which to focus during tasks when your hands or body are busy doing something otherwise mindless.

Please hear my heart: don't let this be a point of legalism or guilt for you.  

By all means, take time to enjoy the silence nursing your new baby... or if the kids have been at it all day, enjoy the solitude and relaxation of a hot, quiet bath.  But in moments when your mind craves something to do, or would tend toward self-focus or busybodying about other people, my encouragement for you is to give your mind something to do-- combine list A with list B and let God renew your heart, mind, and soul as you go about your daily activities.


julie said...

I just spent 30 min at work today stewing about a stupid comment someone made, getting madder and madder as time went by. How much I need to be full of the Spirit, not the flesh. Full of the Word.

This week I recorded myself reading a passage (first 11 verses of Romans 8) that I want to live and to memorize, and when I have 1.5 minutes and my phone nearby, I play it, to focus my mind on truth. So helpful, so necessary. Thanks for this reminder.


Jess said...

How do you choose sermons? I'd like to listen to more but I'm not sure where to start.

Jess said...

I tend to get hooked on one pastor or another for a stint, so I might be listening to a lot of Francis Chan for months, and then switch to Matt Chandler, and then after that move on to Joshua Harris.

If I don't know where to start, I just choose one of them, and scroll through their "recent sermon series", and then I look for topics that speak to the things I'm thinking about right then-- for example, Joshua Harris had one about the Holy Spirit and I'd been wanting to learn more and understand the Holy Spirit better, so I turned those on and loved it.

If I don't have a particular issue on my mind, I just scroll through until something strikes my fancy. If you just google their names on YouTube, their most popular sermon bits will come up, and that can give you plenty to choose from.

Sometimes I'm random, sometimes I'm systematic, but it's always fruitful.

Thanks for the question,