I love to multi-task. I think it is wonderful that I can wash a load of clothes, and a load of dishes at the same time. Dinner is simmering in the crock pot and I can iron or make beds while I talk to my sister long distance. I can do five things at once. The kids come in with a question and with the wave of my hand or a quick scribble written on a note I have done six things at once. Wow. No wonder I get so much done. Life is great!
So, why at the end of the day do I feel like I have been so busy? So exhausted? Shouldn't all this multi-tasking give me more free time?
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." Mark 12:29-31
And so what is Love? How are we to love the Lord and our neighbor (which of course includes our husband and children)?
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Cor 13:4-7
Love suffers long: Holding a sick or tired child until he is comforted. Pulling the knot out of her sewing project for the umteenth time - with a smile. Listening to his plans for that broken down tractor with all his talk about pneumatics and hydraulics and electronics etc.
And is kind: Teaching good manners by example rather than a bark "Stop talking with your mouth full!" "Do you need help with your bed?" Rather than "Clean your room!"
Love does not envy: Being thankful for the house or the car and the family you have.
Love does not parade itself: I don't have to strive to be "perfect."
Is not puffed up: I can offer compassion to my children when they sin or fail. My expectation of others will not be so high.
Does not behave rudely: I use my words and facial expressions to show love and not disgust.
Is not provoked: Taking time to train or discipline instead of getting frustrated because of interruptions or conflict. Walking away from rudeness instead of retaliating with the same.
Thinks no evil: Not participating in gossip. Being careful what I watch and allow my children to watch. Making plans for love rather than revenge.
Does not rejoice in iniquity: Caring for those who are wronged - even if I believe they "deserved" it.
Rejoices in the truth: Happy and bold about the truth - taking time to share it with others.
Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things: How can I even come close to doing this when I am trying to "kill five to six birds with one stone?"
Who has time for Love when there is so much to do? Maybe instead of planning more love into my day, I should plan my day around love. Every thing may take a bit longer...but maybe there will be less complaining that way. Maybe at the end of the day I will have good stories to share and remember and not just a checked-off list. Maybe my children will listen when I say something instead of tuning me out (as I so often do to them). It seems to me that to be able to love one must FOCUS. I have to put my energy and even HOPE into what I do and say each day. This is love.
No. Love does not multi-task. Love does the next thing...one thing at a time.