By Dr. Harold Sala

“But one thing I do:  Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

Between now and the end of this year your survival is challenged!  No, hopefully not by terrorists or hurricanes or typhoons, depending on where you live, but it will be certain that between now and Christmas you will survive only by coping with the increasing demands made on your time and energy.

And what’s the solution?  Multitasking? And what’s that?  Keven Maney defines it as “doing as many things simultaneously as possible.”  Like what?  Brushing your teeth at the same time you put on your shoes and listen to the morning news?  Yes, that would qualify, but usually, the term is applied to more technical applications like driving and talking on your cellular telephone, or listening to the news through your I-Pod at the same time as you walk the dog and down a bottle of orange juice as you eat your bagel from the local deli.

Has technology really made life better, or just faster?

Isn’t technology just wonderful that allows us to do so many more things—all at the same time?  “Do I detect a note of sarcasm?” you may be asking yourself.  At times I’m not fully convinced that modern technology has done much of anything to make life easier because something mechanical or technologically driven is doing the work for us.  No, instead, technology allows us to just accomplish more.  That I candidly admit.

Question:  Have we really benefited from cellular telephones which allow you to drive and talk at the same time, wireless modems which let you send e-mail messages from your car as you wait out a Manila traffic jam, or one in Los Angeles, or Bangkok?  Computer programs that search the internet while you are performing some other task, and then beep or flag you when it finds what it has been searching for—all in the background, and so on and so forth?

Has technology really made life better, or just faster?  Does it improve my relationship with my wife or only take me away from my family and children to sit in front of the computer trying to figure out why the dumb WIFI won’t work?  Or is it the bleary-eyed operator who is stupid for not using the whole system for a boat anchor and going back to a good old Remington manual typewriter as my dad suggested before his death (and, may I add, he was serious with that suggestion)?

Lest I sound too skeptical for one who tries to make technology his servant but sometimes wonders who is serving whom, let me say that technology is here to stay, but you are the one who has to learn to pull the plug and say when enough is enough.

In spite of the fact, I see people driving to work putting on their makeup, curling their eyelashes, shaving, and certainly downing a mug of coffee as they head for the office, I’m prone to wonder whether meandering across the meadow with your son, looking for the fishing hole, or taking your daughter by the hand and walking along the beach tossing pebbles in the surf, may not be far more productive in the long haul than winning gold medals for multitasking.  “This one thing I do,” wrote Paul to the Philippians long ago.  Not two things, nor three, or half a dozen, just this one thing.

This means, of course, that you have some major decisions to make. If you can’t have it all, do it all, and be everywhere at the same time, you’ve got to decide what’s really important between now and December 25 and forget the rest. Only you can decide how to keep the main thing the main thing.

Resource reading: Philippians 3

Speaker, author and Bible teacher, Dr. Harold Sala founded Guidelines in 1963. Pioneering the five-minute commentary in Christian radio, Dr. Sala’s daily “Guidelines-A Five Minute Commentary on Living” is broadcast in 49 of the 50 states and is heard the world over in a variety of languages.

Sala, who holds a Ph.D. in biblical text, has authored over 60 books published in19 languages. He speaks and teaches frequently at conferences, seminars, and churches worldwide. Residing in Mission Viejo, California, Harold and his wife, Darlene, have three adult children and eight well-loved grandchildren.

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