Consider the Postage Stamp

Josh Billings was quoted as saying, “Consider the postage stamp:  its usefulness consists of the ability to stick to one thing until it gets there.”  It’s a little humorous, but it really describes what many of our lives are lacking.  We often seem to have a hard time sticking to one thing until we finish it.

I know I have a half-dozen jobs that need to be done around the house.  I’ve started most of them, but have yet to finish all of them.  It’s too easy to get distracted by all the “stuff” going on around us–much of which we could ignore if we stopped to think about the one thing we are trying to get done.

My wife and I were in Boston this week.  The drive is always challenging–especially at rush hour.  It requires focus and quick reflexes.  One would think that other drivers would be aware of that as well.  But I can’t begin to tell you how many close calls we had with drivers who–you guessed it–were holding and talking on their cell phones.  All they had to do was to pay attention to the one thing they needed to focus on to reach their destination and to stay safe.

While we were walking from the hospital parking lot to the main entrance, we passed dozens of people along the way.  At least 75% of them were talking on their phones–looking like they were talking to the air around them.  I had no problem with them using their phones, but it was disconcerting to see them amble across streets while ignoring the crosswalks and the moving traffic.  They were sticking to one thing, but it wasn’t the most important thing at that particular time.

And I know that many of you will say that they can handle all the “stuff” because they are able to multi-task–you know when you are able to do several things at the same time, and do them well.  You know, like the doctor who will be doing your operation while multi-tasking.  Or the pilot who will be flying your children to their grandparents while he multi-tasks.  Or your mountain climbing partner who is holding the rope keeping you safe while texting his girlfriend.  My guess is that you wouldn’t want any of those people to be doing anything but their main job.  If the task is important or simple worth doing, stay focused and get the job done.

Keep your eyes focused on what is right, and look straight ahead to what is good. (Proverbs 4:25)

 

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