Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Anyway, God has been speaking to me recently about the issue of clarity. Our pastor has been preaching on this subject the last few weeks. He has reminded us that we need to have clarity to hear God, and know what He is calling us to do. However, we cannot often have clarity if we're doing too many things at once. The word hits my mind all day long. Then tonight, in my bed, I was thinking about how this is the one time of day that I actually have clarity. In bed at night is when I do my best thinking, because I'm only doing one thing: Resting. Then, get this - I sat down at my computer to write this post, and my computer was freezing up because I had too many programs open. Again, God whispered "this is what your life is like when you are doing too many things!" I need clarity.
Sometimes I think I'm a little addicted to multi-tasking. I love getting things done, especially at the same time. I can multi-task when I'm cooking, having a phone conversation, sitting in church (did you know people Tweet in church?), driving (yes, I have been known to put on my makeup at the stop lights), and even when I'm in the bathroom (hey, that's when some of my best -and only- reading gets done!). Yet it really annoys me when I'm with other people and they are multi-tasking. Especially if I'm with them and they're using their cell phone a lot. Annoying. (Yet I fully know that I am guilty of that too). Anyway, I digress. My point is that doing a lot of things at once is not always good. In fact, it can become bad. It can become a habit, or worse yet, a way of life. And pretty soon, we're so good at multi-tasking, that we cannot do one thing well anymore. We can't have a good, focused phone conversation, because we are making dinner at the same time. We can't have a good, in person conversation, because we're so busy checking our phones for text messages. We can't really listen to someone, because we are multi-tasking in our heads. Sure, we can get by, but it is not good. It is not giving any one thing our full attention. (sorry, I really like using the italics button right now).
So, back to what God has been teaching me lately. He has been gently reminding me to slow down. To have clarity. To do one thing at a time. And let me tell you, it is hard! I have been trying to play with my boys every day - have focused play - where I am not running back inside to check my phone, where I am not planning dinner or cleaning the kitchen. Today we went to the park for an hour and it was actually refreshing to just focus on playing with them, and nothing else!
As I look forward to 2010, I want it to be a year of clarity for me. I want to know what God has called me to do, and to do it well. That really comes down to two things: first and foremost, being a wife & a mother. Everything else is secondary. That is my mission. I don't need to feel guilty if I choose to say "no" to something that might take my attention away from my husband and my children. That may even mean saying "no" to good (even great) opportunities. That may mean turning our phones off during dinner. It may mean turning my cell phone off during the day when I'm with my boys. It may mean only getting online once or twice a day, verses 10 "really quick" times during the day (does that sound like a lot? Because "really quick" internet checks can add up! :)
When we have clarity; when we focus on one thing at a time, I think we experience life much fuller. We are able to have the discipline of slowing down, and it is a discipline. And our children will remember us in 10 years as "mom" versus "busy, scatter-brained, always checking her email and phone mom."
Just one woman's thoughts. Reminds me of a post I did awhile back where I said something like "Since when did multi-tasking become a virtue?" Sometimes God has to speak to me for awhile about something before I really get it, so this probably won't be the last on this topic. So, what are your thoughts on this? How do you have clarity? How will you have more clarity in 2010?