Karen was an expert multitasker who worked in a busy office area. She could often be found working on long term projects while processing data for managers who needed the information right away and taking phone orders from customers. She was able to do all those things by skillfully, and selectively, tuning out most of the noise of the other people working around her.
One day though she found herself unable to focus. She couldn't block out the training session going on in the cubical kitty corner from hers, or the intense discussion going on in the cubical directly across from her. The voices, voices she knew well, seemed to collide against each other inside her head, crashing together then ricocheting off each other. Layered behind that was the steady hum from the printer and a phone ringing in another empty cubical.
All this noise, noise she normally could block out, was making it impossible for her to focus on even the simplest of tasks. Finally, Karen couldn't take it anymore. She threw her pen on her desk, shoved her chair back, and grabbed the her car keys from her coat pocket. Not caring about what anyone in the office thought of her dramatic exit, she hurried to the far side of the parking lot where her car sat under the shade of several oak treas. Once inside the car, she cracked the windows open, leaned back against the seat and let out a long slow breath.
She closed her eyes and focused on the sound of the leaves rustling above her. There was no methodic whirring of the printer or shrilly ringing phones to jar her focus. Soon her nerves had calmed and she was able to return to her desk and focus on her work despite the noise around her.
Sometimes life gets to be too much. We try to pack trips to the vet, errands for spouses and kids, work, volunteering, spending time with family and friends, and so many other things into each day simply because there is never enough time. However, these jammed packed days can become overwhelming and we can forget to keep God in them when we really should be searching for his voice. I find that when I take the time to speak to God (something I don't do nearly as often as I should), that He calms the chaos inside me and I am able to return to work with renewed peace, despite the fact that my to do list still has all the same items on it.