The strange myth of mul­ti­task­ing

Record Observer - - Religion -

I have been pon­der­ing a del­i­cate ques­tion this week. Why is it I can only do one thing at a time? If only I could do sev­eral things at a time, I could get more ac­com­plished.

The Gra­cious Mis­tress of the Par­son­age is an ex­pert when it comes to mul­ti­task­ing. Al­though I have lived with her for over 45 years, I still do not know how she does it. She is bet­ter than a cir­cus jug­gler and can jug­gle a dozen tasks at the same time. Not me, that is for sure! I like to do many things, but I have to do them in or­der and one at a time. That is how I have al­ways done things even though I have tried to jug­gle two things at one time but it has never been suc­cess­ful. Usu­ally, both of them fall to the floor and I have to start all over again.

Ev­ery day I make a list of things I need to do and start work­ing on them one by one. I am look­ing for­ward to the day when I will be able to ac­com­plish every­thing on my list.

Maybe I am just try­ing to do too much.

Like the other day, I needed to go across town to pick up some­thing at one of the of­fice sup­ply stores. Usu­ally, I am not al­lowed to go into the gro­cery store by my­self. How­ever, when my wife found out I was go­ing to go across town, she asked me if I would stop at the gro­cery store and pick up a few things. Then she handed me a list, and said, “Get every­thing on the list and only those things on the list.”

Then she gave me one of “those looks.”

It is hard for me to go into a gro­cery store and not pick up a few things that I want. I have never seen any ice cream that I did not want. How­ever, when I am on strict or­ders with a shop­ping list, I don’t have any lee­way at all.

It started out rather well. She handed me the list and I put it in my pocket and headed for the front door. As I was go­ing out, I heard her say, “Re­mem­ber, only those things on the list.”

I chuck­led to my­self and my­self chuck­led back. I was on a mis­sion and I knew I could ac­com­plish it.

My fa­vorite of­fice-sup­ply store is Sta­ples. Ev­ery­body there knows me by name be­cause it is al­most a se­cond of­fice for me. I have of­ten sug­gested that they have some cof­fee there for their cus­tomers, but if that would hap­pen, they would never get rid of me.

Sta­ples was my first stop. When I got in there I walked by the pen sec­tion. I never can walk by the pen sec­tion, I al­ways have to stop and ex­am­ine all of the pens they have there. I have a nice pen col­lec­tion and I am al­ways look­ing for some pen that I do not have. You never know when you are go­ing to find some­thing that you do not have.

I love the foun­tain pen sec­tion. As I was look­ing at the foun­tain pens, I saw one was on sale. For some­one like me who is ad­dicted to pens, es­pe­cially foun­tain pens, this was the end of the road.

It was a beau­ti­ful pen and was only half price. How in the world could I re­sist this?

As I ex­am­ined the pen, I re­al­ized I did not have one like this in my col­lec­tion. Even if I did have one like this in my col­lec­tion, the temp­ta­tion to pur­chase would be over­whelm­ing.

There­fore, I did what any pen ob­sessed per­son would do. I took it to the counter, talked to the cashier about this won­der­ful pen and told her how it would add dig­nity to my pen col­lec­tion. She chat­ted back and told me that it was a beau­ti­ful pen.

Fi­nally, I paid for the pen and walked out to my truck.

All I could think about was that won­der­ful new foun­tain pen. I could not wait to break in this new foun­tain pen, which is a del­i­cate rit­ual that I en­joy so much. I was so happy and ex­cited about it.

When I got home, I hur­ried in­side so I could show this brand-new ad­di­tion to my pen col­lec­tion to my wife and have her join me in ad­mir­ing it.

She glanced at it some­what non­cha­lantly and then stared at me with one of those stares. It was one of those stares that in­di­cated I was in trou­ble. I could not for the life of me fig­ure out why I was in trou­ble.

With both hands on her hips and star­ing at me she said, “Where are the gro­ceries I asked you to pick up?”

“Gro­ceries?” I had for­got­ten all about the gro­ceries. In fact, I had for­got­ten about why I went to Sta­ples in the first place.

As I headed for my truck a Scrip­ture came to me, “What­so­ever thy hand find­eth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor de­vice, nor knowl­edge, nor wis­dom, in the grave, whither thou goest” (Ec­cle­si­astes 9:10).

It is hard for some­one like me to fo­cus on two things at a time. There­fore, I need to fo­cus on what my hand can do, rather than what I can­not do.

Dr. James L. Sny­der is pas­tor of the Fam­ily of God Fel­low­ship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Sil­ver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or email jamess­ny­der2@att. net. The church web­site is www.whatafel­low­ship.com.

POND­TOWN — Boardly Chapel AME Church, Pond­town, hosts “A Love Af­fair Re­la­tion­ship Work­shop,” at 11 a.m. Feb. 18. Guests are Sis­ter Dana Bowser and Pas­tors Kionna and By­ron Neal.

For in­for­ma­tion, call 410928-5677. The Rev. Ellsworth Tol­liver is pas­tor.

CHURCH HILL — Bethel AME Church, 208 Agnes St., will of­fer din­ner from 11 a.m. un­til sup­plies run out on Fri­day, Feb. 17. Din­ners in­clude wing dings, fries, cole slaw and soda or wa­ter for $8 each. Pro­ceeds ben­e­fit the build­ing fund.

Pre-or­ders are en­cour­aged. Call the church af­ter 8 a.m. to or­der at 410-556-6888 or call Gail Wil­liamson at 410758-7377, Bev­erly Wheeler at 410-739-0547 or Al­freda Den­nis-Boyer at 410-726-8087.

The Rev. Bedelia Com­modore is pas­tor.

POND­TOWN — Boardly Chapel AME Church will hold Women’s Day at 3:30 p.m. March 5 with spe­cial guest El­der Christine Pritch­ett. All are wel­come. For in­for­ma­tion, call 410-928-5677.

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