I wake up in the morning already late. I play with my cat while getting ready for work. I answer phones while planning a future blog post in my head. I eat lunch while reading a novel. I check my email while talking to my partner. I listen to a friend share her troubles as I try to figure out what to say. I cook dinner while listening to the radio. Finally I fall asleep, my one wholehearted activity of the day.
And too many days pass like this.
Big deal, you may be saying to yourself. Okay, maybe you should try harder to focus while your friend is talking to you, but some of this stuff is so small. Who cares if you listen to music while cooking? Who cares if you read during lunch?
It’s not that any one thing is so horrible. After all, I’ve lived my whole life daydreaming, and I haven’t been run over by a truck… so far, anyway.
It’s just that I’ve been hearing a voice cut through my busy mind. It’s said the same thing over and over for a long time, but only now am I starting to take it in.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
A man cannot serve two masters. Either he will love the one and hate the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
Because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.
I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before me.
And these are just a few examples. I’ve come to realize that this is a message of the entire Bible that I never picked up on before – focus, singlemindedness, full presence.
This explains a lot of things in the Old Testament that, otherwise, I find utterly strange. Who cares if you plant two crops together or wear fabrics made of two different fibers? These teachings point to a larger truth: the God of the whole world wants my whole heart. The more I practice focusing on one thing at a time, the more I can focus on the One all the time. The more I focus on giving someone my full attention, the more I’m loving them as myself.
My prayer is that God will help me tame my wild mind. Because there’s nothing like looking into someone’s eyes and saying, “I love you.” To mean every word in that three word sentence, I must be fully there, fully ready to love, fully focused on you.