When Mathematical Theories Don’t Apply

Having worked in the corporate world for over 25 years, I heard the adage, on more than one occasion, that I, or maybe my entire team, needed to give our assigned project at least 100 percent effort. But, we were also told that management would like it even better if we applied 110 percent of our effort. Don’t get me started on demanding more than 100 percent effort. I’ll just quickly say that I get/got tired when I when I hear that anyone is told that they need to commit 110 percent of their attention to anything! While it sounds good, we all know it’s simply not mathematically possible to give more than 100 percent. Yet, that particular brand of corporate speak still continues today.

There’s a part of me that would like to believe that I take every endeavor to which I’ve applied myself completely seriously. That is, I would like to think that I apply myself with 100 percent of my effort in all the situations that I face, but, that assumption would be false. I don’t know very many people, if any at all, that give everything that they do 100 percent of their effort. Think about it, can you really apply 100 percent of your attention to everything that you do? I say no. Applying 100 percent effort on one thing, means that other things slip by the wayside.

I can concentrate 100 percent on my writing while Jim is driving down the road, but if I do so, then I need to have tunnel vision. I cannot look up and notice the road conditions while I’m searching in my mind for the right words to use. I cannot notice when my rather small Dachshund, who has suffered disc damage to her back, is attempting to jump down off the bed in the back of the truck. And, if my dear husband needs something from me while he’s driving, I would simply have to totally ignore him. None of us live in a vacuum, outside forces in our environment will come into play, interrupting our concentration and effort. Do I want to apply 100 percent to my efforts? Most likely not, because my relationship with my husband, and my pets are of more importance to me than being able to concentrate on writing this reflection.

That said, some days I would like to claim that I’m putting out 100 percent. Some days I am more able to apply myself better than others. Some days I am simply coasting. Going through the motions. Not giving it (whatever the “it” happens to be) my all. I contend that it’s all part of human nature. We get tired, we get distracted, we get complacent, we simply don’t care, we become defiant, and the like. Some days I go about things half heartedly. There, I’ve said it.

I was reading a follow-up note to a lesson on Hosea 10 written by Lisa TerKeurst in which she mentioned that she likes to pray Psalm 86:11-12 when her heart feels divided. The Psalmist, none other than King David himself implores: “Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.” (Psalm 86:11-12 ESV). In this reflection we see a sincere request by David, a man after God’s own heart, to worship God with his whole heart.

I like that prayer, it’s simple, it’s sweet, it’s short, and it’s sincere. It’s a prayer that I can utilize. It is a deep desire of mine to be able reflect upon God with my whole heart. To spend time with him, to learn His ways, to experience all that He has for me. To be a woman after God’s own heart. I can continue to express to Him all that I yearn for, all that I want to be – complete in Him. And, what I ask of God, He will give to me. As I know that this desire of mine, lines up perfectly in His will for my life. I would truly like to give God 100 percent of my heart, because this is definitely one case where I am certain that mathematics don’t apply. Giving God 100 percent of my heart will multiply my capacity to give others my heart also. There will be plenty of room for my husband, my pets, my child, and many other things also. Could that perhaps be the only case where we can give 110 percent or even more?

“And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.'” (Acts 13:22, ESV)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s