When I was twelve years-old my parents bought for me Juggling for the Complete Klutz. Do you remember those kits? It came with a how-to book and three bean bag cubes packed in a red nylon net. I don’t know if my parents thought it was a neat gift idea or if it was a hint, but I wasted no time accepting the challenge.
Juggling three tennis ball-sized objects can be learned fairly quickly and in three simple steps (if you’d like to learn, click here), but keeping them airborne requires a fourth step with a little more discipline—focus.
If you’re able to juggle (and if you aren’t, click that link!), try juggling while looking away from the bean bags (or whatever you’re using) to your right or left, or down at the floor. How did you do? Imagine trying that with knives.
Last week I shared a post on a solution to the problem of juggling more than we can handle. But sometimes our problem might not be how many things we’re trying to juggle, but rather, our focus. (As a side note, I find it’s typically a combination of both.)
Take an honest look at a day in the life of many adults in today’s America. How much time are we fretting over, say, Facebook? Did you see what so-and-so said about so-and-so? Why would Sue block me all of a sudden? I can’t believe only two people ‘liked’ my last update? I need more Friends… Like. Like. Like.
Or what about LinkedIn. Wow, Yolanda’s resume looks terrific. How in the world did she ever get all that experience? But look at her profile picture. I bet it’s from Glamour Shots.
Or MySpace. MySpace? Seriously? Dave is still using MySpace? Who anymore uses MySpace?
Twitter. Of all people, how did Jack get so many followers? Why would anyone care about what he’s doing? Does anyone care about what I’ve been doing?
Yes, it seems somebody does cares…maybe too much.
As a technology professional who does promote the benefits of social media, I still pick on its addictive draw from otherwise healthy investments of our time. But be it social media outlets or other enthralling interests—infatuations with the nightly news, the crazy neighbor next door, the Kardashians—all can quickly become distractions, and the months go by and our lives are a frenzy not just because we might be juggling too much but because we’re focused on the smorgasbord of frivolous information, day in and day out, when what we need is to turn our attention back to what (or who) is directly in front of us today.
Lay down the bean bags for a minute. Sit and take a breath. Better yet, take two. You need it. Now pick up the bags. No, not that one—that one isn’t yours. Only three of them are yours. Now stand. Focus. Juggle.
“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” — Matthew 6:34 (The Message)