I have recently begun to consider the idea that if there a God, he is probably not very good at multitasking.
I’ll direct you to this recent study, which suggested the existence of a rare group of humans known as “supertaskers.” They’re not just capable of multitasking; they actually perform better when doing so.
About 1 in 40 — or 2.5 percent of humans — have such skills, the study found.
But these guys are the outliers. Which brought me to an unusual thought: man was created in God’s image, or so certain books suggest. But if 97.5 percent of mankind is incapable of properly multitasking, then by the transitive property, can’t we assume that God probably isn’t a very good multitasker either?
Which brings me to another thought: if God is present in every aspect of our lives — and certainly, there seem to be more than a handful of athletes who believe in God’s willingness to take part in a post pattern — how does he juggle it all if he’s so average at multitasking?
I put the question to a friend of mine today. We were on the front nine of some hacker course in Austin, Texas, and my friend was working on a precision slice that usually isn’t found outside a 10-piece knife set infomercial.
“Oh, Jesus,” he said after knocking consecutive shots into the pond.
“You sure you want him here for this?” I asked.
I gave my friend the rundown. Look: God’s a busy guy. He’s trying to balance the cosmos. His divinity might not even be able to solve the matter of Inbox Zero. He doesn’t care about your short game, and he probably shouldn’t.
“So?” my friend said.
Well, let’s suppose that God spent most of his time just watching over humanity, I said. But in a very limited way, he’d take an interest in you. You’d get to choose one aspect of your life, one thing that you do regularly, and God would play a role in it. You wouldn’t be superhuman in that one thing. But you’d know that when you took on that task, you’d have a bit of divine protection.
“So God could be present on the golf course?”
“Or when I play Facebook Scrabble?”
You’d be wasting it, but yeah, sure.
“Or in the bedroom?”
You got a girl you’re trying to impress?
And that’s when it really began.
The immediate instinct, under this God-as-a-Genie-with-one-wish-to-grant concept, is to go for something big. Ask God to keep watch when you’re playing poker. Or when you’re shooting those championship-winning free throws. Or when you’re looking for luck with the ladies. Ask for one of these, and you’re asking for God to give you house money to play with in Vegas.
But then there’s a secondary thought: What if you could better use your divine intervention? I’m talking about the kind of intervention that gets tossed around at Sunday School: Dear God, help me find courage. Dear God, help me comfort the sick. Dear God, please make me sick so I can leave this sermon early.
And then there’s the last thought: What if you could take it just a little bit further? If God can’t be present in every little thing you do, why not just choose one little thing that you do every day?
What if God could be present during your rush hour commute? (Finally, a practical reason to have a “God is my co-pilot” bumper sticker.) What if God could keep you engaged during those dull moments in your day? (When waiting in a dentist’s office, God could deliver the manna that is Men’s Health magazine.) What if God could help you be on time for meetings? (He might be a watchmaker anyway.) Why not ask God to be present in the kitchen? (Just smile and nod when someone tells you, “These fudge brownies are just heavenly.”)
I’m not saying this theory of divine assistance is for everyone. What I am saying is this:
The next time you’re 130 yards out and deciding between a 9-iron and pitching wedge, ask yourself whether or not you really want the Almighty as your caddy. Besides, he might be able to spot a triple-word score in Facebook Scrabble that you’d never be able to see.