by Kathy Sinclair
Women have long been known for their ability to multi-task! Modern day women are usually juggling several important tasks at once. It could be raising and caring for kids, alongside working, plus squeezing in a big food shop to an already crowded day! Sound all too familiar? I am sure you can relate and even if you’re blessed with a supportive partner, chances are that he will be very busy too!
For me, one of the ways I try to cope with busyness is to be a list girl! I just love lists, both at home and at work. On my office wall is my yearly calendar where I mark medium to long term tasks, with holidays and other important events highlighted! (As if I’m going to forget to go on holiday!) My mobile phone is also part of my “strategic planning” with notifications and reminders for every day of the week. On reflection, perhaps I like lists so much, because they relieve the mental pressure of being so busy and the fear of forgetting something important.
Lists and reminders keep us in control. When we tick off a task, our brains actually release a feel-good achievement chemical. However, the danger is, lists and phone notifications can dictate our life's rhythm. Since the world saw the first iPhone in 2007, smartphone usage has steadily become an accepted part of our daily lives — and the smartphone addiction statistics prove it. We are glued to our phones. Because we rely on our phones for communication, reminders and connection. Smartphone addiction can result in sleep deprivation, increased stress levels, depression and anxiety. I experienced this firsthand recently, on arriving at the gym, I noticed my friend looked really stressed – it turned out she’d left her phone at home by mistake, in her words she said “I feel like my arm’s been cut off.” Only a few years ago we didn’t need phones to organise our lives!
Are we in real danger of phones and checklists taking over? By contrast, Jesus never seemed to be in a rush. Granted he certainly didn’t have a smartphone, but he did have multiple demands on his time. However, he still managed to make plenty of time for a desperate woman, even though he was on his way somewhere very important, to help a dying child. In my book, dashing to the child’s bedside would have been top of the list! Perhaps the real difference is that Jesus understood that the most critical assignments in our lives, usually don’t work according to “To Do” Lists. Jesus worked according to “Kairos Timing” which is connected to the deeper purposes and rhythms of life. He displayed the discernment to know when to do what was right and the best time to do it. Jesus, despite being hugely busy, took regular time out to be with His Father and to seek His rest. In our, oh so busy lives, Jesus waits patiently for us, inviting us to give up the tight control, to be less tied to our smartphones and lists, so that we can begin to discern what is really important in each and every day.
● What is most important to me this week in my various life roles? ● How will I create space for unexpected, essential things?
Kathy Sinclair is the BWAA Church Relationship Manager in Western Australia. Kathy joined Baptist World Aid in January 2019. She comes to the role having spent 11-years on staff at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Western Australia, as the Children and Families Pastor. In more recent years, she also held responsibility for overseeing the church’s mission ministry. Kathy has been a speaker for Christian Women Communicating Internationally (CWCI) for several years, where she enjoys the privilege of travelling around Western Australia to teach God’s word. She enjoys visiting church communities to share about the work of Baptist World Aid and how individuals and congregations can respond effectively to God’s heart for the poor and needy. Kathy is married to Mark and has two children and a daughter-in-law.
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