I’m a born multitasker. Truly, I was made to juggle.
Except I don’t actually juggle, unless you count schedules and children and such.
I do, obviously. I mean, what use do I have for flaming torches or bowling pins?
But I’m the kind of girl that has been unable, in the whole of my life, to move from point A to point B to point C and so on. I’m all zig-zag wonk-edy, and basically okay with that. I fight with my own tendencies and try very hard to let the perfectionist within me maintain control over my inner scatterbrain, but most days I just give in and color outside the lines a little. I would have been the poster child for ADD, if I’d have remembered to make the photo shoot.
(That was a joke.)
I keep twenty tabs open on my Internet browser at any given time. When I clean my house (which I sort of do all day every day, a little here and there), it looks something like this: Clean the bathtub, empty the dishwasher, load the washing machine, wipe down the counters, vacuum the living room, wash the dishes, clean the bathroom floor, wash the windows, make my bed, clean the living room mirrors, and so on…all while listening to an audiobook and taking notes on the parts I like. I have no rhyme. I have no reason.
I’m not quite sure how people put one foot in front of the other and take things in a straight line. I am anything but linear. And I’ll go out on a limb here and say that as much hassle as this arbitrary way of living can sometimes be, it probably has something to do with my creative nature, and I’ll gladly take whatever comes with that.
But it’s occurred to me lately how often I’ve tried to multitask my way through my spiritual life. Listen to worship music or a downloaded sermon while I clean house, pray for my friends while I drive, squeeze church attendance in there between breakfast and grocery shopping. There are days where Jesus lines up there in the daily mix somewhere between my next door neighbor and Dr. Phil.
(Okay, so I don’t actually watch Dr. Phil, but you get the idea).
So often I think of faith-building “tasks” as just more things to do, stuff I should get around to, and in the interest of efficiency I try and just get them there in the day somewhere. Read Bible? Check. Prayed for husband? Check. Got my Sunday School materials ready for the weekend? Check.
And it all falls away, meaningless…because, after all, it is.
None of it, this whole faith business, is ultimately about anything that we can do or how we do it.
In my exhaustion, I climb into bed in the middle of the day and just. breathe. And the longer I breathe in the quiet, the more my very body cries out for just the presence of holiness. My emptiness, my silent cry to be filled is the very catalyst for invoking the Holy Spirit. And it is here, in this empty space, where time has stopped and it has ceased to be a question of whether to move from A to B or D to R or Q to E and instead, I am just here and full of Spirit and nothing else matters.
I think we all need more moments like that, do we not? Moments when we cease to even acknowledge the many demands upon our time, and even life and family and ministry are secondary to lying face down before awesome incarnate, our thoughts and wants and needs utterly hushed. To come before the Lord without agenda, without demand or request, or concern, but simply with invitation: Come in. Fill me. Be near. Where we literally exhale the swirl of thoughts and worries and all the things that make us human and just, for a few breaths, inhale the Spirit of God and experience the purest form of peace, peace that becomes our very breath.
If we multitask our way through faith…if we squeeze Jesus into a syndicated time slot with commercial breaks, we will miss it. We will slip right past peace, in flesh.
I challenge you today to lay down the to-do list, put off the blog post and the phone call and the laundry basket and get on your face before God, not in petition but in awe. Feel it, breathe it, and remain for as long as it takes to completely empty yourself… and fill up again.
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Breathing out. Breathing in. Counting gifts.
n Cotton white clouds, foreign looking in this hot southern sky.
n Quotes from wise writers and thinkers that challenge me.
n Getting something fearful off my chest.
n A few quiet giggles.
n An ambulance trip to the children’s hospital this week that wound up in a successful surgery and our boy’s arm, swollen and painful but intact again.
n Prayers from neighbors and friends.
n Freedom to speak honestly when I’m weighted down, heavy.
n Whatever comes next.
n The simple satisfaction of making a casserole and baking brownies.
n Cherry-almond lotion.
n “Little C”, my big comedian (and youngest son).
n Time to read.
n Big C’s scooter fall with broken teeth and nothing worse.
n Learning to listen for the quiet, and to breathe in the whisper of Spirit-God.