Let me give you a challenge – try patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time (don’t try this while driving or in any other public place!). As simple as it seems that would be to do, it is not for most people! The reason why gets into the complexity of the human brain and the way it coordinates our muscles and movements. This simple and kind of silly little exercise reminds us that so-called “multi-tasking” is not all that easy to do. Our brains are not wired to concentrate on and do very many things well at the same time. Attention focused on one thing is necessarily depleting attention away from other things. That’s why multitasking can be dangerous and destructive. Just ask Nicholas Sparks. An AP article (August 2009) reported that Sparks, who lived near Buffalo, New York, worked for Adams Towing Service. Sparks garnered his employer lots of unwanted press when his tow truck was pictured in newspapers all over the country, damaged and partially submerged in an under-ground backyard swimming pool with another vehicle in tow. Sparks admitted to law enforcement officials he had been texting on one cell phone talking on another when the accident occurred. After hitting a car driven by a 68 year-old woman, he crashed through a fence, sideswiped a house, and came to a sudden stop when his tow-truck pitched half- way into the pool. Interestingly enough, that same month Stanford University released their research on multitasking. In their report, Professor Clifford Nass noted that the prevailing thought is that multitaskers are geniuses. Nass reached a very different conclusion. “Instead,” he stated, “they’re lousy at what they’re doing” much of the time. You can pat your head or rub your tummy – but it’s hard to do both well at the same time!
Through the ages, down to this very fast-paced, multi-tasking, distracted one we live in, the Bible has been urging anyone who will listen of the need for an all-encompassing, singular focus when it comes to our spiritual health and the safety and well-being of our souls. King Solomon wrote about it three thousand years ago in Ecclesiastes 12:13 – “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.” Jesus reminds His disciples multitasking exposes the soul to great danger and destruction in Matthew 16:26 – “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses His own soul? Or what will a person give in exchange for his soul? The apostle Paul described his top priority and single-minded focus in life in these words in Philippians 3:13-14 – “… one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” The same apostle directed Christians to have a singular focus in Colossians 3:1-2 – If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on earth.” Genuine disciples of Jesus are people who are fixed on seeking things above. They do so with the single- minded intensity of a hound dog hot on the trial! Going to Heaven to be with Christ saturates their minds, dominates their thoughts, determines their priorities, and guides the way they live here on earth. Danger threatens if we become preoccupied with things on earth to the point we are distracted from things above. Take it from Nicholas Sparks – there’s a lot to be said for having a singular focus. Is Heaven on your mind?