We live in the world of the multitask. Everyone is trying to do numerous things all at once. We drive and talk on the phone. We text and eat. We try to read with the TV playing the biggest game of the week.
I do it. You do it. We all do it.
The problem is that when we try to multitask we only give each task only a partial effort.
Sure, you may be able to talk and cook, but one of those is suffering. Sure, you may be able to look at Facebook while listening to a sermon, but one is receiving your primary attention. Sure, you might be able to do two things at once, but one of them (or possibly both) are not getting the needed energy to do it well.
Some of these distractions simply are not a big deal. So what if the meal cooks a little long? Who cares if I miss a few plays on the game? No one will know if I forget a few pages. Some issues are not a big if I am only giving a partial effort.
Relationships, on the other hand, always suffer when we live distracted lives. Your spouse needs you to focus on them for a while each day. Your children need you to listen closely to what they are saying. Your friends want you to give them your best. Relationships do not thrive when we are only giving them partial effort.
This is also true with your relationship with God. David prays to God in Psalm 86:11 for God to give him an “undivided heart.” In the book of Ezekiel, there is this promise that one day God will change the world through a mighty work. (It is a prophecy about Jesus and his followers.) Ezekiel 11:19 (NIV) says that in that day, “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.”
Maybe the opposite of not loving God is not actually hating God; maybe the opposite is being divided. Having our thoughts split between multiple desires and actions at the same time. Spending our lives being pulled in numerous directions.
As we enter the holiday season it is easy for us to attempt to do a hundred different things and many of them all at once. The truth is that what we may really need is to slow down and give all of our relationships the energy they deserve. That includes spending time focused on God.
Perhaps the best gift in the world we can give this holiday season is our full attention.