We began gathering up everything we would need for a couple of days away from home. Clothing, toiletries, and school necessities were all bagged and piled on the couch for an early departure. It was time to turn our attention to the “accessories.”
Day one was to be a field trip: homeschool day at a science museum! Of course, the camera would have to accompany us. Or would it?
I pulled out my phone and glanced at it. Unlike earlier phones, this one takes great pictures. In fact, there are times I greatly prefer it. It is reliable, portable, and always handy. Perhaps I could just use it instead of carrying the bigger camera that has really been showing its age.
But more thoughts began to sink in. You see, my handy-dandy, always available phone is a smart phone. And it is a smart phone that sometimes has great battery life and other times absorbs power faster than a black hole. It is made to multitask in so many ways. Not only does it allow me to make phone calls, but it also enables me to send and receive texts, work through e-mails, and browse the internet. I can keep up with Evernote, maintain a grocery list, interact through social media, and even do a small amount of work on it. But all of that multitasking requires energy. And when I’m away from home, there’s not enough energy to accomplish all of those things. In fact, sometimes the extras make it impossible to keep the tool available for its primary purpose: portable phone communication as needed.
My “real” camera, on the other hand, is designed for one thing. Okay, so maybe two: to take pictures and videos. It has no other design. No other purpose. Now, seven and a half years of steady use have taken their toll on the camera. But, all in all, it still takes great pictures. It accomplishes well the purpose for which it was intended.
So, which did I choose? Well, I naturally had my phone with me on the trip, but I chose the camera for pictures. When it came down to it, that was the only tool that could effectively and dependably get the job done.
In many aspects of our faith, we have become like smart phones. We try to multitask, offering a wide variety of services. We want to be applicable to everyone, meeting the variety of needs people have. That’s what will bring them in and introduce them to Christ, right?
We were created to have one driving purpose: to glorify God. Yes, it’s that simple. But we’re so busy trying to meet everyone’s needs that we have no energy left to live lives that glorify God. Even worse, we have no ability to teach others that they were also made to glorify God. We have nothing deep to offer. Nothing real.
As a result, the real goes splat. When marriages fall apart, there is no solid ground upon which the family members can stand. When illness strips someone of her faith or a lost job leaves another feeling as if he has no hope, we have nothing to offer them.
What if we were to focus on our one purpose? What if we were to spend our effort glorifying and enjoying God? We would automatically have a foundation, and others would see that. We wouldn’t have to expend our energy trying to meet every need. We would instead show them the foundation upon which our lives are built. The foundation they so desperately crave.
Multi-taskers are handy things. But when crunch time comes, they often fail us. What we need is a tool intended for a single, focused purpose. Something reliable. Something steady. That’s what this world needs, too. Not believers who try to solve all the world’s problems in a multi-tasking manner. But believers whose sole focus is to glorify God, allowing His ministry to naturally flow through us in whatever way it is needed.