Blind Ambition

While it is not my purpose to debunk commonly held beliefs, I have read and heard that there is really no such thing as multi-tasking.  Though I realize this statement will invoke the ire of women and run contrary to the job interview, we are made to do one thing at a time.  I’m not even saying that it is not possible to shift rather quickly between endeavors, but we cannot do different tasks simultaneously.  For instance, it is impossible to listen for comprehension and verbally make meaning at the same time.  Life for some people is like chasing a squirrel.  It seems like they are everywhere at once, but, even though a squirrel changes directions quickly, it is not in two places at once.

An oft-heard, seeming-wise musing is that the typical person uses only ten percent of their brain.  Of course, Einstein used more, but we could all split something if we cultivated the mental state to a greater degree.  The inconvenient truth, however, is that we all use all of our brains.  As discouraging as that may sound, we don’t use the entirety at the same time.  Different portions of the organ serve different purposes and are employed when needed.  So it is that even those with the giant brain of say a Jethro Bodine work within the confines and constrains of their physicality.  There are, indeed, variances within the human race, but none of us is limitless like those people on television.

It is true that, for some people, trees obscure the forest.  I should say this is true of all of us at some time.  Every person is apt to face obstacles or obsessions that block out the sun and obscure vision.  One thing that makes me reticent to acknowledge this obvious fact is that people are always accusing others of being too concerned in certain areas when what they really mean is that their own priorities are not the same.  I know it’s a circular argument.  Recently, I heard a leading expert in the field of mental health explain that those suffering from depression are not listless because of lack of stimulation; rather they suffer from overload which creates anxiety.  Situational blindness.

The Bible urges us to be circumspect, but human nature fights against the application.  We are all born with varying personality and biological traits, and these characteristics tend to remain stable over time.  Consequently, we have predispositions which seem right to us, and we tend to ignore or place little emphasis on other things.  As with all of life, we should bring these concerns to the Word and be subject to the leading of God in the areas we deem vital.  Even as a single individual is incapable of grasping the fullness of God, no one will ever attain perfect balance in the duties of life.  The best of believers lives with a fallen nature in a fallen world and strives imperfectly to attain the will of God.

The insidious issue is that I cannot see my faults.  Further dismay is that I can exaggerate yours.  The self-protecting bias is strong and pervasive.  It is clear that some choices are better than others, and the Bible constantly urges wisdom in selection.  However, even the truly (though relatively) wise cannot see all ends.  The goal, perhaps, should be to make good judgments without becoming judgmental.  If we are blind to options not in our wheelhouses, we’ll miss blessings and be consumed with burdens.  As valuable as our perspectives and works may be, it is good for all of us to remember that the Lord can inform our views, and that He has completed the most important work.

Sterl

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