Matthew 15:24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
This strikes many people as a remarkably cold response on the part of Jesus, but it hits me this morning as evidence of Jesus’ very sharp focus on His mission. If it wasn’t something the Father had assigned for Him to do, He wasn’t going to do it. He did allow the woman’s faith to move him right after this, but as always, He is a superb example for us all. “The tyranny of the urgent” isn’t a new phenomenon, but it still has great power to distract us from God’s best. That said, it’s also important to stay open to the Holy Spirit’s changes in a schedule. Even Jesus did that! However, when we fail to recognize what our primary task is and stay on track with that, we don’t get a lot done. Multitasking is quite the buzzword these days, but various studies have shown that divided focus generally produces poorer work, at least, and often less work in the long run. We live in an age of distractions, so we need to seek the Lord for what is the task at hand and apply ourselves to it.
This has been a major issue for me most of my life. I have very wide interests as well as a variety of abilities, and the result has been a fairly remarkable lack of focus, with the accompanying lack of results. I don’t think I fall into the ADHD spectrum, but failure to set goals and strive for them has been just that, a failure. That said, a pastor’s schedule tends to be “interrupt driven,” to borrow a computer programming term. Just yesterday I was notified that someone had died, and I will be doing his wake tonight and the funeral tomorrow, making adjustments to my schedule to allow that. However, that is part of my primary job description at this point, more so than the school teaching I will be doing this morning. There is also the book I am writing, along with updating my blogs and a host of other things. I’ve got to stay open to the Holy Spirit and keep asking Him, Lord, what do I do now? Then, when I feel I have His answer, I’m to apply myself fully to that task and not worry about the rest, until He says it is time for them.
Father, You know better than I do that it is the variety of things I am called on to do, even more than the volume, that tends to cause me stress. Help me rest, relax, and rejoice in You whatever the task at hand might be, knowing that Your grace is sufficient for whatever my circumstances might be. Thank You. Praise God!