Television, cable, and streaming services offer hundreds, even thousands, of movies channels to view. But how many times have you said there’s nothing on? We know that isn’t true. Maybe we aren’t in the mood to watch something, there are too many choices, or we have too many things on our minds. We can feel so stressed we can’t think straight adding one more thing might cause us to burst.
Our world is fast-paced, hectic, and often chaotic world. We wake-up with a stress caused by constant demand in our lives. Stress has become an all-encompassing term to mean the physical, mental, emotional strain or tension. Stress depletes our resilience, our ability to recover from difficulties. It’s something we all deal with often because of circumstances beyond our control. Stress can make you want to surrender until you think of the people “depending” on you. Just like Moses, you ask yourself (Deuteronomy 1:12, CEB):
“But how can I handle all your troubles, burdens, and disputes by myself?”
Interestingly, the word “stress” is nonexistent in the Bible. It isn’t that it didn’t exist, but identified by condition using terms like anxiety, worry, trouble and doubt. We can experience these conditions because “we have too much on our plates” or as the Geek Squad Experts might say: “Bandwidth limit exceeded.”
If you have a computer, television, or cell phone, you’ve probably experienced being greeted by a blank screen, slow connectivity, or an error message that you can’t connect to the network. Most of us don’t think about how the internet works, just that it should work. When it doesn’t, you don’t care what the problem is, or where it lies, you want it fixed. In technical terms, exceeding your bandwidth indicates you’re receiving too much traffic (problems, worries, etc.) than the host (body, mind, or spirit) can handle. Bandwidth, whether in our network or relationships, has two accepted definitions (Merriam-Webster Dictionary):
- a range within a band of wavelengths, frequencies, or energies and
- the emotional or mental capacity necessary to do or consider something
Having a poor Bandwidth or slow connection means things take a long time, sound robotic or have poor sound quality. Exceeding our bandwidth in the quality of our relationships, especially with God, makes us to feel like there’s too much on our plate. What causes this?
Our inability to effectively manage our priorities or time. Mike Myatt, author, and Executive Coach, identifies fifteen (15) time wasters to avoid. You may have exceeded your bandwidth, especially if you can relate to:
- Inability to focus
- Technology interruptions
- Improper use of “Yes” and “No”
- Bad planning
Bandwidths require a reliable connection. Having an adequate Bandwidth is not only important when connecting to the internet but our network (relationships). Our failure to monitor our network often results in feeling disconnect from those we care most about, especially from God.
Network monitoring is required to get the best use of available speed and quality from our bandwidth. Network monitoring lets you view the health of your relationships (the network) and lets you identify the details of your trouble spots. Fortunately, Jesus, history’s greatest network communicator and troubleshooter, teaches how to improve the quality of our relationships and increase our bandwidth. Jesus used silence and solitude to overcome many of the mistakes (referenced above).
- Jesus recognized the importance of solitude. He picked a time when the connection and demands from His shared network (disciples) and the public was less busy. He made it a point to go somewhere to minimize disruptions and increase the quality of His prayer time. Mark 1:35 (NIV) reveals:
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He ‘prayed.’”
- Jesus prioritized rest and disconnected from the network when He needed. Mark 6:31-32 (NLT) tells us:
“Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.”
- Jesus used solitude to prioritize and gain perspective (Luke 6:12-12, NIV). Jesus’ time was limited, so He identified the applications consuming the most bandwidth and how they were being used. He knew that the network demands (teaching, healing, etc.) could detract from His mission so He avoided any demand where He wasn’t needed.
When you are facing stress in your life, disconnect the computer, cellphone, or anything else than competes for your time.
- Jesus understood networks consist of one-to-one relationships. Author Kyle Idelman (One at a Time, 2022), notes that Jesus could have healed everybody, with just a word; but He didn’t. He states that Jesus preached and ministered to thousands but that His most significant interactions, and His miracles, focused on one person at a time (a woman at a well, Lazarus, a man with leprosy, etc.). This one-on-one focus allowed Him to increase Bandwidth for the individual. He heard each person’s need and responded accordingly.
Challenge: In a world that requires multi-tasking, we can increase our bandwidth and improve the quality of our relationships by learning to focus on one thing and one person at a time. Can you improve your bandwidth? How? Will you do it?