Now, where was I? Should it worry me that I seem to say, or at least feel, this phrase more and more often?
Yesterday, I was working on a keynote speech that I’m giving this weekend to the South Central Conference of the United Church of Christ. I’m also preaching, doing a workshop, and meeting with the clergy of the conference. These opportunities were swirling through my mind when my work was interrupted by two calls inviting me to speak and teach in other places. As a consultant, those calls are wonderful, and I was grateful for the interruptions. It is, after all, how I make part of my living. The challenge was that, by the time I was halfway through the second call, I couldn’t remember if I already had told them about my new book, or if I was remembering the first call. Perhaps it was something I said in one of the speeches or workshops I was working on.
A couple of weeks ago my daughter Jordan and I were visiting my parents. Late in the evening, there was something funny on television, and Jordan laughed, though, ostensibly, she was reading a book. I, too, laughed, though I was answering emails. My mother looked at Jordan and said, “Do you have to work on two things at once like your daddy?”
Multitasking apparently runs in the family. That may not be a good thing. Still, I’ve found that working two jobs has served me well. One seems to enrich the other, and, frankly, if I didn’t have both of them I’d probably break one of them. If I didn’t get to help other churches, I would be in danger of breaking my own just so I could fix it.
I envy people who have such a laser focus that they probably accomplish a lot. My former Methodist heritage prepared me to be an itinerate, and it seems to be how Jesus functioned best. He went from place to place, teaching in some, preaching in others, feeding the hungry here, challenging injustice there, doing a bit of healing.
He might have gotten more done if he could have focused, but Jesus seemed to know that we all are wired differently, and we inherited some of our wiring. The most fulfilling life for one would drive the other crazy. Making peace with how we are wired means also letting others make peace with how they are, too.
Rev. Michael Piazza