Focus

Mumford was the first one up this morning so she and I took a very long walk together. Sometimes she puts her nose to the ground and is oblivious to everything around her, including the task at hand, and this morning, with nose to the ground, I let her take as long as she wanted which turned out to be a very long time, but we had fun together.

Coon dogs are unique creatures and probably not suitable as pets for the average person. They are very simple creatures and can be head strong, or stubborn as some might say. More accurately, they focused on one thing at a time and you can only hope it’s the thing you want them focused on. If they get food on their mind, the house can burn down around them while they are eating and they wouldn’t notice. When they get on the scent of something, you could expend all of your energy dragging them away and if you were successful they would wonder why you are being so mean. Coon dogs don’t multi-task. If the truth be known, humans are the only ones who attempt to multi-task. The rest of nature is single-minded.

No matter what anyone says, humans technically don’t multi-task. Multitasking implies that the brain is capable of performing calculations on multiple threads at the same time. In actuality, our brains do what is called time-slicing. We only have so much processing power and only so much time so we slice our time into little pieces and ration it out to tasks. We focus on one task for a moment and then switch to another and then back and forth until one is completed, at which time it is taken off of the list of things to do. Think of it as juggling.

Jugglers don’t get much done, they just work on more things at once. The juggler only has two hands and he is only touching the ball (task) for a moment, throwing it away and grabbing another and the process is repeated, but each ball gets very little one on one attention. I used to be a good juggler and it was amazing to watch but it’s all slight of hand and when you add some age and perhaps a touch of ADD, the balls come tumbling down. I don’t time-slice as well as I used to and I get distracted. Something shinier gets my attention and my mind wanders.

Our society has split into two breeds, coon dogs and Jack Russell Terriers. People either have their nose glued to their smart phones or they are popping around from one thing to another. God wants us to focus on doing two things and technically if we do one of them we will accomplish the other. We can do that, right?

Matthew 22:35-40
35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Mumford, in all of her glorious simplicity reminds me to make sure my nose is in just the right spot and to stay focused. She’s a good teacher, you know.

Where is your nose going to be today?

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About the Author

Joyce Ellis is the CEO and Caretaker of WarmFuzzy's Animal Shelter & Sanctuary. She was born with the vision, the Energizer Bunny who keeps going and going. She is Fuzzy1 of all WarmFuzzy's.

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