on multitasking

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by Pastor Mark Jordan

“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:27, NIV)

How are you at multitasking? I tend to think I’m pretty adept at it. I frequently have my computer open, television or radio on, and phone next to me as I work. You could say it’s pretty much my perpetual posture. I started noticing, though, that when I’m working like that, things have a tendency of slipping through. Some minor — like the typos you inevitably find in my writings — while others are major — like missing an instruction or request from Tiffany. Maybe I’m not as good at this multitasking thing as I thought…

Did you know that Harvard Business Review did a study on multitasking? They found that the average person who attempts to multitask experiences a 40% reduction of productivity, AND a loss of 10 IQ points! Wow, that’s crazy! It makes you wonder why one would try multitasking at all, but it seems to me we just try to buck the trend. From adept to inept, right?

Jesus warned about trying to multitask in your spiritual life. In His Sermon on the Mount, He talked about not worrying about the future, but being present in the moment (you can read the entire section by clicking here). The gist of His message is you cannot focus on the Kingdom of Heaven in eternity while worrying about what might or might not happen tomorrow. You can’t add a single hour to your life by worrying; but, you can certainly rob your life of today’s joy when you do.

Jesus’ choice of the word, worry, is fascinating. Worry translates from the ancient language to “a divided mind,” and “to choke off”; in other words, when you worry, you divide your mind and try to choke off your attention to what’s before you. Prior to any research findings from Harvard, Jesus knew your productivity and intelligence are dramatically impacted when your attention is divided.

I want to close today with verses 33-34 from this section out of Matthew 6: But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Be present for God today. Be present for the people God gave you to do life with today. Be present for the work God gives you to do to honor Him, and point others to Him, today. Seek God. Trust God. Do this, and you will find He is more than sufficient for this very day. This will transform your life. I promise.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for being more than enough for me. Please forgive me for the times I worry about what might or might not come tomorrow, robbing me of the eternal joy I can experience right now. I know this divides my attention from you and others, as well as chokes off my ability to trust. I want to live with and for you in faith, and give you my trust, no matter what tomorrow might hold. I lift this prayer in the holy name of Jesus. Amen.

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