Those who struggle with attention deficit disorder find that we are either distracted by everything, or so able to concentrate on one thing that we forget to eat. Sometimes the distractions look like multitasking and sometimes the concentration looks like a flaw.
However, a recent television program explored and did several experiments concerning multitasking. Their conclusion? No one can multitask. That is, anyone who appears to be doing several things at once actually only thinks about one of them at any given moment. This ability to focus is part of how our brains are made.
As someone who struggles with ADD, I realize the power of being able to focus and how that fits with the way God made my brain. While distractions reflect my interest in many things, they also can keep me from doing the important things. I would never get anything done if I followed the whims that constantly run through my head. Life’s biggest struggle has been the discipline of focus.
Paul was a focused Christian. He set his goal and was not distracted.
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13–14)
Some say wholehearted concentration is the secret of a successful life, no matter how you measure success. Today’s devotional writer says “One thing I do — not a dozen things, not even two things, but this one thing I do.” He adds that no life can be very great, or very happy, or very useful without this element of concentration.
This certainly applies in today’s business world of specialization, consolidation and incorporation. A jack-of-all-trades is rare. Almost everyone is a specialist.
Another example is science where energies are concentrated and realms of study and employment are remarkably specific. We know one biologist whose field is fungus in the soil and a doctor who works with children who have kidney disease.
As a Christian, my focus is to concentrate on obeying Jesus Christ. He said no one can serve two masters. Now I understand why. Not only does a divided heart spell divided loyalties, it is not the way we are wired. Anyone who steps outside of how they are made winds up frustrated by failures. God made us to be able to focus on one thing.
Jesus says, “If you would be my disciple, I must come before father or mother or the dearest loved one of your life. I must come before your own business or your own property. I must come before your own life.” This is the priority. In trying to ignore the distractions, it helps me to realize that no one can genuinely multitask anyway. God gave us the ability to concentrate on one thing, and concentration is a prime requirement of a victorious life.