I keep being told men can’t multi-task, although I think men take the wiser course of action by doing one thing at a time. You’re better doing one thing well instead of juggling three of four tasks and making half a job of them or listening to one conversation rather than trying to keep track of four or five conversations and only hearing half the story.
However, beyond the stereotypes, technology has changed everything. Only recently I had to stop and wonder what my life has come to because I found myself watching TV, checking Facebook on my tablet and texting on my phone, all at the same time. Gone are the good old days when you used to try to do your homework, balance your dinner on your other knee and try to watch TV at the same time.
All these thoughts sprang to mind whenI was talking to the IT co-ordinator in the local primary school. As a few of us were gathered in the staff room we discussed how life has changed. Gone are the days when you heard your parents calling you about ten times for your dinner. You would hear your mother shouting as a last resort, ‘don’t make me come up the stairs and get you.’ The primary one teacher went on to explain how she texted her daughter from the kitchen to tell her to come up and give her a hand with the dinner. Even better on other occasions she would text her husband from the bedroom to bring her down a cup of tea. I could imagine texting my mother to bring me up a cup of tea to the bedroom. Firstly it would take her hours to find her mobile phone then it would take another hour to type in her message which would probably read ‘get lost.’ At this stage I would be in my bedroom suffering from dehydration and malnutrition, so weak I wouldn’t be able to move or text a reply.
Jesus’ call of his disciples stands in stark contrast to the ever increasingly technological and impersonal world we increasingly find ourselves in. Today we can keep in touch with so many people from all over the town, the country and the world through our phones and tablets we often find ourselves ignoring the people in our company. I have to confess I’m a social nightmare, often texting, phoning or messaging on social media to the exclusion of the people I’m actually siting round a table with. The key to many issues in life is finding a balance and I’m conscious it’s a lesson I need to learn. Thankfully God calls each one of us face to face, every woman and man is called by name and God demands our full attention. The challenge is to look up from our busy lives, to drag ourselves away from our screens and create the space and free time to answer God’s call. In relationships we need to spend time with the other person, slowly revealing who we are and learning to trust and to be more open with God.