I’m sure we’ve all experienced it and most of us have done it.
We have been trying to talk to someone when they were preoccupied with their phone or other device. Whether it was a clerk at a convenience store or a well-intended but foolishly distracted pastor, it’s frustrating to feel like someone at the other end of a mobile connection or internet site is more important than the people in the room.
It’s become an absolute epidemic of inattention. For some people I wonder if I wouldn’t be more effective at communicating with them only through their device since that seems to be a way to jump in line in front of anyone in their presence. Then again, maybe I’m the one…
Consider the counsel of this gentleman and his urging to be present…
You see, whether it is an unhealthy hanging on to the past or a problematic anticipation of the future, we can only really live here and now. We need to focus on who and what and where we ought to be here in the present.
The book of Hebrews, after urging us to let some things go and run the race of faith with endurance, gives the greatest advice for how we ought to run the race in verse 2 of chapter 12:
“…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Such a simple phrase, “…looking to Jesus…” I don’t think we realize that the greatest thing we can give to God is probably our most precious commodity – our ATTENTION.
He says that to run the race well we must look to Him – lock our eyes upon Him, get our bearings from Him, pay attention to Him. And when we do – especially when we stop regularly and disconnect from everything else in order to really focus in upon Him and our relationship with Him – we begin to see all the other stuff of life in the proper perspective.
Let’s take that one important step closer. When we are genuinely fixed upon Him, we begin to see each other through His perspective instead of our own. We begin to see how to love one another. We begin to learn to love our neighbor as ourselves when we really begin to love The Lord our God with all of our hearts, minds, souls, and strengths.
What God is calling me to be is simply this: PRESENT. Not distracted or preoccupied or sidetracked…present.
So tell me, what are the distractions that make it hard sometimes for you to see Him clearly?