Friday, September 4, 2015

Jesus the Multi-tasker

It is an oft-cited fact that women are good at multi-tasking.  I must be the exception to the rule.  Oh, I can cook supper while helping kids with homework or do dishes while talking on the phone.  Small day to day tasks arent too hard to manage. The problem is that sometimes I get so hyper-focused on a large task that I lose sight of everything else around me.

For instance, this summer, I totaled my minivan.  No one was hurt; the van was even drivable, just not worth fixing.  So we had to buy a new one.  During the time we were shopping, I was worthless for almost any other task.  My house got messier and messier, and breakfast was often cold cereal or toast.  I didnt feel I had the brain power left to study my Bible, and I passed on outreach opportunities.  It wasn’t until the dust settled and I had a chance to look back at those days that I saw the real problem.  Jesus, my ultimate example, was a good multi-tasker because he kept his eyes open to all the opportunities around him, no matter what was going on.  If he could do that, then I should too.

By all accounts, Jesus was a busy man.  Early in his ministry, he went across the Sea of Galilee and healed a demon possessed man, then loaded up and came back across the Sea. Once he was on the other side, he no sooner had started preaching (which he identified as his most important task at this point), then a man came to him begging him to heal his sick daughter.  Jesus went with the man to help him, and on the way another woman needed his help.  She was too timid to speak to him, so she just touched his robe and was healed.  Instead of ignoring her, Jesus sought her out, looked her in the eye, and told her that her faith had healed her.  Then he continued on his way with the frantic father, only to find that his daughter had died. Nothing daunted, Jesus raised her to life and continued on his way (you can read about this day in Matthew 9, Mark 5 and Luke 8).

Think of all Jesus had to juggle on this day.  How many times could he have said, “One thing at a time, please!” or “I need a break, yall!”?  No, instead Jesus let himself be interrupted and sidetracked from important tasks to do other important tasks, all of which involved serving God.

List-372766 640On the other hand, sometimes I am so attached to my “to do” list that I dont even see the people right in front me, much less their deepest needs.  I put all my mental energy into one stressful task at a time, wearing spiritual blinders that block out everything else.  Sometimes the task Im focused on is a good, spiritual task (unlike car shopping), but that doesnt excuse me from paying attention to other opportunities that may present themselves.  Jesus stopped what he was doing to help both the man who boldly asked him and the woman who timidly touched him. No one was beneath his notice.

And after he noticed them, he showed his love for them. It would have been so easy to the let the woman with the hemorrhage go on her way healed.  She got what she was after, and he had another job to do.  But that wasnt Jesuss way.  He stopped right there to speak encouraging words to her before he continued on his way. 

My highest goal in life is to be like Jesus, but you wouldnt always know that by watching me.  Sometimes my goal seems to be to check off everything on my list each day without reference to what opportunities God may drop in my lap.  My prayer this week is to take off the spiritual blinders, to be aware of the needs of the people around me, and to let myself be interrupted.



  1. Very nice! We do need to remember that we can get too focused on worldly things like Mary did. But we also need to remember that Jesus did take Himself away to pray when He felt pressed. He did tell people "not now" - even though He didn't always insist on it (wedding at Cana for example). Jesus was able to recognize the timing of things. This is my failing - I see everything as either it needs to be done now for the most part. Get it done and THEN I can do... As you said, we need to see opportunities and be ready to respond to them without reservation. Thank you for the article!

    1. Thank you for the kind response. I know what you mean about sometimes needing to rest or to say no to one more thing. We don't want to have so much to do that we can't do a good job on any of it! I just always want to be aware of the people around me, regardless of what is on my list.