How much of your day requires multi-tasking? The brain is an amazing, God-given instrument. Although humans don’t do lots of things simultaneously, we are able to switch our attention from task to task extremely quickly, and technology allows us to do more tasks at the same time. Of course, multi-tasking can cause us trouble if we aren’t careful.
Some multi-tasking is risky. I hate to admit it but occasionally I have a little too much going on while driving. As a real estate professional, I’ve developed some skills like drinking coffee, talking on the phone and looking at aerial views on my iPad while scouting new properties while I’m driving. I probably need a customized bumper sticker that says Please excuse my driving, I’m in real estate.
Some multi-tasking is flat-out offensive, like during a meeting where a client spends more time looking at their phone–or even texting—in the middle of a conversation. Conversation is derived from words that mean “to tend to each other, to lean toward each other.” We don’t need to be anti-technology but more pro-conversation. We must recapture the art of human connection, where we listen and share while looking someone in the eyes and reading their body language as well as their voice and tones and silences.
Yes, multi-tasking is not always a positive, but let me suggest a type of multi-tasking that can become a powerful force both privately and professionally–praying and communing with God while you do your work. Is this possible or practical? Let’s consider how God is present and available as we work:
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go [like your next meeting].”
Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand [even when the deal begins to fall apart].”
Matthew 28:20 “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age [to the end of each day].”
God’s Holy Spirit indwells his people as a “helper” (John 14:26) and a “guide” (John 16:13). Some of us are more obsessed with discovering the latest productivity app while leaving God’s supplies completely untapped. What if we engaged God’s presence with the same enthusiasm? As I walk from my car to a meeting, I can be asking God to grant me wisdom and help me focus. When I am baffled by a business predicament I can request help to land on the right solution, while scanning my files. When I am in mid-conversation I can invite God to help me discern how much to share without ever breaking eye contact.
Spontaneous, continuous conversation with God is part of what the Bible calls “abiding in Christ” (John 15:4) That is, simply acting out of God’s promise that He is with us, and increasingly conversing with him throughout the day. That kind of multi-tasking will be much more productive . . . especially while you’re driving!
Serving Him with you in the marketplace,
Lord, thank You for Your promise to remain with me every moment of every day. When I let that sink in, I wonder why I don’t stay tuned into your presence amid my daily affairs? You are always ready to extend Your fellowship and companionship to me, as well as your provision, blessing and guidance. I want to experience this all during my day, so I ask You to make Yourself known to me. Teach me to constantly switch my attention to you as I complete every task.
“Prayer is not monologue, but dialogue.” Andrew Murray