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By Lynn Baber –
I used to believe there was some limitation on what could distract me. Unfortunately, I have discovered that my little mind can be far more creative than I ever thought possible.
Have you ever settled down to a specific task, determined to concentrate and wring out of it every morsel of enjoyment, learning, or accomplishment possible – only to find yourself minutes later thinking about something completely different?
The Primary Characteristic of Quality Time
The most important part of any relationship is time spent together. Multi-tasking is, by definition, a process of distraction. You cannot think or work on multiple things at the same time and give your full attention to any particular one. Quality time and multi-tasking are mutually-exclusive concepts. The primary characteristic of Quality Time is the absence of distractions.
There are two ways to include Jesus in your life. When I was younger I was the queen of multi-tasking; bored unless I was processing multiple avenues of thought at the same time. Multi-tasking was so natural that it didn’t occur to me to stop everything else and mono-task for a while.
There is no substitute for time spent alone with Jesus. Including Him in every minute of your day is a gift, but cannot replace spending time alone with Him. You cannot hear the quiet voice of God if you’re busy doing one, two, or three other things simultaneously.
Adding prayer to your day while you do your normal tasks and routine is a blessing. Adding tasks or distractions to your prayer time is not.
Seeking a right relationship with Jesus Christ demands your undivided attention if you ever hope to achieve what is possible. My walk with Christ for the first thirty years was always “in addition to” everything else I was doing and not “the foundation of” everything else I did.
The older I get the better my focus. Or, maybe it’s simply that I am less able to multi-task. The quality of our relationship with Jesus Christ depends on the quality of time spent in His presence. Perhaps the aging process gives us new resources that make mono-tasking easier.
But wait… another distraction could be right around the corner.
Old Habits Die Hard – The Exercise Ball
When I quit multi-tasking and gave the Lord my undivided attention my life-long monologue blossomed into a true conversation. I didn’t just speak, I learned to listen. And, as is usually true, we learn so much more when we stop talking and begin to hear what the other one is saying.
Remember when I said that my little mind can get quite creative when it lapses into diversions? Not long ago I neared the end of my prayer time when – WHAM – that annoying creativity kicked in. One of the items on my to-do list is learning to use on-line video to share messages.
From Bible study to video blogging. From video blogging to the exercise ball in the corner of my office. From somewhere came the ridiculous idea; Maybe it would be a good use of my time to balance on the 24 inch tall exercise ball while I shot the videos.
I’m serious. That’s where my brain went. I left glory and went right back to multi-taking without passing GO. Not only that, but my new idea wasn’t brilliant – it was silly. Some distractions are mundane while others are just embarrassingly ludicrous.
Getting Older Has its Perks
Little wonder the young get into so much trouble. They get a stupid idea and act upon it. When I have a dumb idea I can’t usually move fast enough to get into trouble before I realize how ridiculous my idea was. Age does come with some benefits.
Don’t tell anyone under forty, but some of the wisdom of the old isn’t so much advanced understanding as advanced arthritis. Sometimes the delay between our thought and action isn’t based upon our level of maturity as much as the time required to gather enough energy to get out of the chair.
Lynn Baber is a Christian writer who shares simple messages of faith over fear by reducing complex issues into simple either/or choices. Lessons learned throughout her forty year career as a business consultant, motivational speaker, and World and National Champion horse breeder, trainer, and judge, are shared in print, in person, and in the round pen working with troubled horses. Read more on her blog, Simple truth – Simple Faith: http://lynnbaber.net/. Follow her ministry message on Amazing Grays Ministry: http://amazinggraysministry.com/.