As 2011 was approaching, I felt God asking me to pay better attention to Him and His work in my life. I would say that I am someone who feels a true connection to God. I have made every major decision of my life after careful prayer and paying special attention to what I felt God telling me to do through His Word and the peace in my heart. It is hard to describe exactly when I know that God is directing me; it is a feeling in my spirit that doesn’t feel like it is coming from my natural desires. In fact I had a professor tell me that the best way to know that God is directing you to do something is that you don’t want to do it. God’s ways are not our ways.
At first I thought paying better attention would yield better communication, but what I can say that I have learned most is how little attention I pay to God. Sure He breaks through loud and clear from time to time, but as I’ve been paying more attention, what I’m paying attention to is how often He is not in my thoughts or my prayers. I’ve been paying attention to how often I am paying attention to everything and anything but God.
For example, I’ve been paying a lot of attention to how my body feels. If I’m the least bit tired, I lay down for a nap. I pay a lot of attention to how mad I am at certain people—I can waste a lot of attention going over in my mind what I should say and what I would like to see happen to resolve a situation where I differ from that person. I pay a lot of attention to the great ideas I have about what I can buy or what great event could happen to me to make my life better.
When I really stop and pay attention to what I am paying attention to, I realize I don’t pay as much attention to God as I thought.
These words by John Bradford draw me back to my goal of paying more attention to God. He writes,
“When you begin the day think about your insensitivity to God. Remember that he is constantly calling you and that you need to respond.
Think about your forgetfulness of your high value to God and how your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. Say to your soul, Let’s get going! Follow God. Make good plans and pursue them. Live in a manner that will please God. Consider this day’s work and assignments from God…Consider time lost if you do not use it to at least think of the glory of God and seek a way to do something for someone else’s advantage.”
Some days I pay more attention to what I eat than I do to God’s presence and glory in the universe. What’s the harm in not paying attention? Hebrews 2:1 says truthfully, “We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” Paying attention is vital to not drifting away. Did I get your attention about paying attention? What would it be like to go through this whole day wondering how God is being glorified in my life through every conversation, sight, and sound? Maybe I will write about that next week.