"ALEXA, STOP THE MUSIC!" This is a sentence I have been known to utter rather emphatically at certain times in our home. Generally the words come forth when there is a lot of additional noise coming from one or more of our children. Somehow the combination of loud voices (especially if crying is involved) along with music playing is a bit more than I can handle all at once. In my desperation to restore some kind of control, I go with the thing that seems easiest to change quickly: turning off the music.
This experience reminds me of something I call the "computer to brain analogy" that I first learned about in a conversation with my sister-in-law. She explained how our brain and our whole life are a little like the ram and the hard drive of a computer. The hard drive - like our whole life - is the overall capacity of how much a computer can hold. The ram - like our brain - is how much the computer can handle at one time. If there is too much going on, it's like having "too many open tabs in your browser", and it can make the computer crash.
Do you see the connection? Have you ever felt like there were more open tabs in your life than you could handle? And if you couldn't find a way to close some of those tabs, surely you were going to crash?
At first glance, the solution to this problem seems simple: close some tabs. I suppose that is kind of what I'm trying to do when I command Alexa to stop the music. There is something freeing and restorative about lessening the number of things that are demanding attention or energy from you at any given time. This phenomenon is likely why some people are huge proponents of minimalism. The less stuff you have, the less stressed you feel.
The problem is, what about the tabs you can't control? No matter what situation we are facing, chances are some of the things that feel like they're taking our energy are tabs we can't easily or quickly close, if at all. So what do we do with those? How do we keep from crashing when tabs like THAT are open?
I was recently talking with someone about that feeling of having too many things on your plate and what to do about it. We were discussing how important it is to build in time for rest and to "ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life", as Dallas Willard advises. We've all heard similar advice. Slow down... do less... edit your life. In our conversation though, we were considering the possibility that it might not just be about taking things out of your life. It might also have to do with the condition of your heart.
Perhaps the question is, when we feel that pressure of all of those open tabs, that fear that we're going to crash, what is our response? I know for me, my first reaction often tends to be to try to close some tabs. And just maybe, this isn't always necessarily a bad thing. God promises to give us wisdom, and maybe sometimes the wisdom we need is to see what tabs to close and how to close them. (Of course sometimes instead of actually closing tabs, I instead spend a good amount of time worrying and fretting about which tabs I should be closing and asking, how will I ever find the time to close all these tabs?)
But no matter what my initial reaction is, there is good news: God remains constant. He never crashes. He is always ready to welcome me, both when I manage to close enough tabs to keep from crashing and when the tabs overwhelm me to the point of shutting me down.
As long as we are alive, most likely this issue of "too many tabs" will ever be before us. Oh that God would grow us into people whose hearts are conditioned to pray first, to be wise about how to navigate our many tabs, and to keep coming back to Jesus as our Center. May He guide us step by step - or perhaps I should say, tab by tab.
Pray with me...
... Father, let the hearts of all in the ACSD community be continually transformed by Your Spirit
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16
... Jesus, as we have opportunity, let us help one another in managing the "tabs" in our lives
So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith. Galatians 6:10 (MSG)
... Lord, bless the leadership of ACSD with Your wisdom for every decision
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. James 3:17
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and pray for Alliance Christian School District! Lord willing, I plan to publish a new blog post weekly on Wednesdays throughout the school year. Feel free to subscribe (at the bottom of this page) if you'd like to be notified each time a new blog post has been published. We also have a prayer team that is always open for new pray-ers to join. If you'd like to learn more, email me at email@example.com.
~ Carrie Warner, ACSD Prayer Team Coordinator
Soli Deo Gloria
To God alone be the glory