There’s an old saying I just made up: When you try to kill two birds with one stone, you might just make them both angry and drive them to flight.”

Some people do try to “kill two birds with one stone.” They plan visits to out-of-town relatives or friends mainly when such opportunities coincide with business trips. Often recipients of such visits miss out on the strengthening of relationships because they feel their friends or relatives are visiting them because they just “happen” to be in town on other matters. And often the visitor can’t fully enjoy the social commitments because of the work responsibilities. Energies are divided, diminishing one’s ability to focus both on one’s professional duties as well as on relating to those with whom we have personal relationships.

Sometimes what is efficient is just not sufficient. Multi-tasking is common to our busy twenty-first century existence, and certainly I have encouraged convergence as a way to get more than one thing done efficiently. But when multiple tasks are not compatible with one another, combining them can diminish the value of each task or event.

Here’s a case in point. It happened during the Depression: my Aunt Esther had been engaged for some time, and was planning a lavish wedding with her husband-to-be, Sam Cohen. My mother and father were also seriously dating. They had talked about marriage, but could not afford a wedding. Somehow, they decided to have a double ceremony.

The two sisters were a contrast in appearance and personality. My mother, Rose, was tall with curly blonde hair, while my Aunt Esther was considerably shorter, with straight black hair. Rose had a stately beauty that people would turn to see when she walked past. Esther, though attractive, didn’t turn so many heads. Her beauty sparkled from flashing dark eyes and a good-humored exuberance that required a closer encounter to be noticed.

As I was growing up, each described the wedding from her own perspective. My mother said she felt she was horning in on Aunt Esther’s beautiful wedding. And Aunt Esther told me a bit wistfully that it was my mother who looked most like a bride. The sisters remained good friends, but each of them had less of a wedding because it wasn’t all her own.

Another case in point is a close friend of mine whose birthday is just a couple of days after Christmas. Often people just give her a single birthday/Christmas present. It’s not the one gift instead of two that’s so important, but it’s that her special day is diminished. Everyone needs to have their own day when others appreciate them just for who they are.

I’m so glad that God isn’t like that. He gives each of us personal attention. His presence with, and awareness of, each one of us is so complete that whether we are in pain or experiencing joy, it’s as if He enters into our experience with us.

Likewise, I believe that if I were the only sinner in the world, Jesus Christ would have set aside His Throne of Glory to come to this squalid planet and be a nobody, then suffer pain and rejection for me alone.

He is the Lord of the Universe, but He is not remote.We must see Him as being our personal Savior, even though He is the Savior of the world.We know He has a plan for the world, but we need to regard Him as having a very personal plan for our lives. But most personal of all, He is a companion and friend.

And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there None other has ever known*

*C.A. Miles