Recently I drove into my neighborhood of 13 years, pulled into the driveway, pushed the button on the garage door remote several times and was totally baffled as to why the garage door would not open. It took me longer than it should have to figure out that I was in the wrong driveway. I was not at my house. Sigh…

And then one Sunday, while driving to church, I completely missed my exit. Not because I didn’t know where I was going. Not because I was on the phone or fiddling with the radio. It was simply because my mind was flitting from one topic to another. And while I was physically in the car, my mind was elsewhere. Sigh…

Following that, while making coffee, I turned on the machine but forgot to put the carafe under the spout. Coffee went everywhere. And guess what? I was standing right there, scrolling through my mental Rolodex thinking about what I was going to do after I had my coffee. Sigh…

In all of these instances, I had too many tabs open.

You know how you’re operating your computer and you have several applications or browser tabs open, bouncing back and forth between each one? Well, that same thing can happen in our lives. We call it multitasking. We think we’re killing two (or three) birds with one stone. We think we’re getting more done. But in actuality, we’re over-processing our brains…over-processing our lives.

I know I’m not alone when I share this. Many of us are managing so many things in our lives: Family, Careers, Businesses, Ministry, etc. And with so many obligations and expectations, it’s difficult not to feel pulled in a million directions. In our Facebooking, Intagramming, Candy Crushing, TV Drama-Loving Society, how could we possibly stay focused on any one thing for an extended period of time? Our meals are rushed. Our prayers are rushed. Our commute is rushed. And our life is RUSHED! May I suggest that we go and have several seats? Please and thank you!

For several months, God has been dealing with me about de-cluttering. Not just my office or my email, but de-cluttering my thought-life, as well. He has been challenging me to eliminate the things that are distracting me from staying focused on what that He has called me to. You see, when we’re encumbered with so much, we are not able to be completely available for our purpose. Or we miss the “God Moments” where He is really trying to show us something that will help enhance our lives and lead us into the “good life” that He has predestined for us (Eph. 2:10, Amp).  At times, we find ourselves like Martha in Luke 10:38-42, worried about so many nebulous details and totally missing the “one thing that is needful” that Mary discovered.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to spend another year full of activities, but with very little fruit to show for it. I am in a season of paring down my activities so that I can be fully attentive to the “needful” things and see the full manifestation of everything God has in store for me.

Those mishaps I mentioned earlier were, I believe, a clear sign that I am doing way too much and that it’s time for me to scale back and close some of these tabs. One way that I have begun to do that is by practicing “mindfulness.” I am challenging myself to give my FULL attention to whatever it is I am doing until I have completed the task. So, if I’m talking on the phone, I resist the urge to jump on the computer at the same time.  If I am reading an article, I resist the urge to respond to a Twitter notification.  Believe me when I tell you, it has not been easy.  But in my times of struggle, I picture myself in my neighbor’s driveway trying to let the garage door up. SMH! Again, I know God has big things in store for me and I do not want to miss it.  So I think it’s time to close some of these tabs!

And I challenge you to join me. 😉