Pay Attention!

I’m pretty much convinced that the main part , if not the whole, of what I am to be about as a Christian is to pay attention.

Let me say it again. I am convinced that what I am supposed to do, as a follower of Jesus, is look, listen, examine, think on, be on the hunt for, the ways God is moving, acting, speaking, teaching in my everyday life, and then to respond to what I hear Him say.

Everything in this world is after my attention. From billboards to newspapers, to radio and TV, to my children, to my church, to my work, to my (fill in the blank), they all want me to pay attention to what they are saying. As a matter of fact I can’t think of a better way to keep people from hearing God’s still, small voice than to make everything around them so loud and so busy that they hear forty different voices screaming at them while they go to this meeting and that practice. It’s no wonder we’ve got attention spans two seconds long. We’ve got Cultural ADHD, and it’s no wonder our kids are showing signs at an early age of the same disease. They caught it from us.

 We don’t know how to slow down, be quiet and listen for the voice of the One who made us, and calls us to come to Him and learn how to live what he calls “life to the full”.

As a matter of fact I don’t think we really want to hear His voice. I think we’re afraid of what we might hear. We’re afraid we might hear nothing, that no one is out there and that we are the biggest fools in all the universe, “most to pitied”.

 And I think we are afraid we might actually hear something, that God might actually show up. That He might show us that everything we’ve spent our lives building up, bank accounts, retirement benefits, reputations, image enhancements, whiter teeth, …etc., are worthless and bankrupt, just so much wasted time.  

 “Behold”, “Listen”, “Be still”, “Keep silence”, “Rest”,  Scripture is full from beginning to end with these, and many other calls to a more contemplative life. Don’t be afraid of the word contemplative. The real contemplative is one who is learning to pay attention to Reality, and to be thankful, and do what He tells him to do. To do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with Him. In other words, true comtemplatives end up being the most practical people you’ll meet. Because when you spend time listening to Him, God often points out simple things He’d like you to do in order to love others for His name’s sake.

So, if you catch me going a thousand miles an hour in a thousand different directions, knock me up-side the head and remind me to pay attention.


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