Brueggemann’s “Resistance to Multitasking”

Posted on by Jeremy Daggett

I just finished Walter Brueggemann’s book Sabbath as Resistance. It’s thin and, as is the custom for Brueggemann, packed. Two lines from the book’s penultimate chapter, titled “Resistance to Multitasking”:

Multitasking is the drive to be more than we are, to control more than we do, to extend our power and our effectiveness. Such practice yields a divided self, with full attention given to nothing.

Brueggemann was just interviewed about this book and his short book on money in back-to-back episodes of the Nomad podcast. Here’s the Overcast link.

It’s common to equate multitasking with productivity, one of our highest held values in US American culture. Brueggemann isn’t arguing against productivity itself, just the idolatry of productivity. Practicing sabbath is supposed to make me as an individual more human, and us as a society more just.

One more bit:

Sabbath is a big no for both; it is no to the worship of commodity; it is no to the pursuit of commodity. But it is more than no. Sabbath is the regular, disciplined, visible, concrete yes to the neighborly reality of the community beloved by God. We used to sing the hymn “Take Time to Be Holy.” But perhaps we should be singing, “Take time to be human.” Or finally, “Take time.” Sabbath is taking time…time to be holy…time to be human.


Discussion off