Early one morning, as I sat down at the computer, the spyware scan started to run its weekly check.  It reminded me that I needed to run the weekly virus scan.  Once I got that up and running, the computer notified me that there were some updates that also needed to be installed, so I started running those as well.

In the midst of multi-tasking on the computer, a weird thing began to happen.  As new emails would appear, I could see an envelope, alerting me to a new piece of mail, but there was a blank space in the spot where it should show ‘sender’ and ‘subject.’  After I finished my multi-tasking, I had to shut down the computer, then restart it so the ‘updates’ would take.

Multi-tasking seems to be the new buzz word for the myriad of activities which keep us busy.  It seems that everywhere you go, you see people who are multi-tasking.  How many times do you see people with a cell phone glued to their ear?  Whether it’s in the car, a restaurant, Walmart, or even the doctor’s office, seeing someone on a cell phone is a common occurrence.  The cycle seems to never end.  We may stop multi-tasking in one area, and immediately start it in another area without giving it a second thought.  It’s so automatic that we don’t ever realize we are doing it.

I believe that we switch to ‘auto-pilot’ so quickly in our multi-tasking that it causes us to end up missing out on a lot of what God may want from us.  Just as I had blank spots showing up in the ‘sender’ and ‘subject’ information in my emails, I do believe that we are allowing a lot of ‘blank spaces’ in our lives, due simply to our aggressive multi-tasking.  Do we have a blank in the spot called prayer?  What about in the space for daily devotions?  Is that spot also empty?  What about following the Holy Spirit’s prompting?  Would it be blank for the last several weeks because we’ve been so consumed with our own agenda that we failed to listen to His calling?

What about the space for showing mercy or giving encouragement to someone who really needs it?  Would we have a blank space there?  Could it be that when we talked to our friend that we were so ‘surface’ in our conversation due to our own heavy schedule that we didn’t even notice the pain in her voice?  What about the place for praying for one another?  Are we so focused on getting home from church and fixing dinner or getting the children to bed, that we neglect to notice the lady who is at her wit’s end and could really benefit from someone who would take three or four minutes to pray with her?

Just as I had to ‘power down’ the computer to get it up and running properly, we all need to take time in our busy lives to ‘power down.’  Turn off the cell phone, turn the ringer down on the home phone, and turn off the answering machine, the computer, and the television.  Put a ‘do not disturb’ sign on your front door, and even your bedroom door, if that’s what it takes, but ‘power down’ so that God can minister to you, adding ‘updates’ to you, so that you can function the way HE intended for you to function.
© 2005, Stacy R. Miller


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