As I am becoming more able-bodied after my surgery, I’ve noticed I’ve become “less productive.” Upon reflection, it’s really easy to be so-called productive and check tasks off a list when all you can do is sit in a chair and work on a computer, with three meals a day brought to you and your only worry being how you are going to get up and make it to the restroom.
So, I’ve had to think about this some, and I’ve been reminded of some ultimate truths.
First, only God gets everything done. It is the nature of creatureliness to be finite. Human beings can only do one thing at a time. If we multitask, we are generally doing two things poorly simultaneously. We are humans, not machines. The nature of living in a fallen world is that there is always much more work to be done.
Productivity is always in the service of the Great Commandment. The two great duties that God has laid before us is love for God and love for others. “Getting things done” is in the service of these two mandates. This means that people are the reason that we seek to produce. As one wise pastor told me, “interruptions are the ministry.” This means that we must be open to many experiences that cannot be checked off a list.
This frees us up to jump in and help when we see a need. We taught our children to always ask and look and volunteer to help when help is needed — to look for opportunities. I often need to remind myself to do this. This might not be a task I can check off my list. But surely, this serves the greater good. And this is what we are here to do.