January 29, 2010

 Multi-tasking Mayhem

Karen Ehman

"But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, 'You are my God.' My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me."

Psalm 31:14-15 (NIV)

 

Devotion:

"Mom, quick…look at that lady!" My fourteen-year-old-in-driver's-education-child shouted at me as we were headed down Michigan's US-27 interstate on an errand-running Thursday afternoon. "She should not be doing that," he added for emphasis. 

 

I glanced over at the car next to us, expecting to see someone without her hands gripped properly at the ten and two o'clock positions like my by-the-rulebook-boy does when he is behind the wheel. Instead, I nearly ran off the road while gawking at what my resident Driver's Ed patrolman had spotted.

 

Next to us was a woman who was doing all of the following: talking on a cell phone by cradling it on her right shoulder, holding an open fast-food salad container in her left hand, ripping open a salad dressing packet with her teeth and her right hand…all while steering her car with her knees! What in the world!? My boys and I thought surely, if she kept up this multi-tasking method of driving, she was going to cause a crash.

 

"I would NEVER attempt to do all of that when I drive", I smugly thought to myself.  "Entirely too dangerous and probably against the law." Yep, when it comes to being a safe-driving etiquette expert, the apple doesn't fall far from the "Honey-you-didn't-use-your-blinker-back-there" maternal tree.

 

It wasn't until later that night that it hit me. Yes, I may not try to dangerously multi-task when it comes to driving my car, thereby putting myself and others at risk of a collision. But in my day-to-day life? In my schedule? In my "sure-I-can-take-on-one-more-responsibility-so-everyone-will-like-me" way? Well, I sometimes dangerously multi-task to the point where I too am headed for a crash.

 

God nudged my heart a few years back, after dealing with some stress-related medical conditions that would not go away, that I needed to do a major plate scraping in my life. Taking on too many responsibilities, no matter how "good" they may be, can often render women ineffective for service to God. He knows our limits. He understands are capacities. He is willing, if we will ask Him, to help us navigate the waters of busyness and activity that often drown many a woman.

 

On one of my so-busy-I-couldn't-breathe days, I read today's verse. While I'm sure that the author David was talking about actual physical enemies -- men who could chase you, catch you and ultimately hurt you - I thought that day of busyness as the enemy. Too many activities and responsibilities outside of my four walls were about to do me in. They chased me, they cornered me and worst of all, they were about to go in for the kill.

 

Thankfully, God rescued me from the barren life of busyness. And He can do the same for you. He's longing for us to hold our too-full plates up to Him, scrape off all the activities and responsibilities, and then, place back on our plates only the items HE longs for us to possess.

 

Then, we can create white space in our calendar and places of sweet respite in our days where we can connect with the God of the universe who is just waiting for us to slow down and sit still; to listen and learn from the very Creator of time itself.

 

So, how about it friend? Rubber spatula ready? Keep reading below and let's start scraping before we crash and burn!

 

Dear Lord, Forgive me for allowing busyness to overtake my life, crowding out others and worst of all You. Help me as I purpose to place only those items on my plate that You long for me to have. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

 

Related Resources:

To discover more on this topic and enter to win an organizational giveaway centered around Karen's book on time and home management, visit Karen's blog

 

The Complete Guide to Getting and Staying Organized by Karen Ehman

 

A Life that Says Welcome by Karen Ehman

 

Do You Know Him?

 

Application Steps: 

List on paper all the commitments you have said yes to outside of your job or home responsibilities. Catalog approximately how much time you devote to them each week. Pray about what you discover.

 

Reflections: 

What activities and responsibilities have I said "Yes" to that I know in my heart I shouldn't have?

 

How can I thin out my optional tasks and duties, freeing up more time for the places where God wants me to focus my efforts?

 

Power Verses:

Matthew 6:33-34, "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." (ESV)

 

Genesis 2:2, "And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done." (ESV)

 

 

© 2010 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.

 

Proverbs 31 Ministries

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