Paying Attention

A lot of you have probably been in a conversation like this before. It goes like this. “Hi Ken”…”Hi Mikayla”…”How are you?” “Good…busy though. How about you?” “Same, so busy these days.” “Yes, I hear you, just a fact of life, I guess.”….etc.

Is it just me, or does the word busy come up in a lot of our conversations?

Has it always been this way?

Now, as I sit down to write this, I have had a busy day. I was up too early with my 3 month old son and am now trying to fit too many things between 9:00AM – 5:00PM, including writing this blog.

Recently, I have felt very uncomfortable with how busy my life is. I don’t think it is healthy. Maybe the book of Esther has been wearing off on me….

Here is what I mean.

If you have listened to Pastor Chris and I preach through this book, you will know that Esther is a book that doesn’t mention God, not even once. Not only that, but it appears that the characters in the book hardly acknowledge His existence. And yet  at every turn, when we look deeper into what is really going on, it becomes hard not to see God in it. He is everywhere. His the behind-the-scenes God, the master stage manager, the brilliant playwright. It seems as though when we slow down and pay attention to the story, that is when we are able to see what God is up to.

What if it is the same for our our lives? What if it actually takes a little bit of practice to see where God is getting our attention? What if it takes sitting in stillness and being quiet? What if it means putting down the phone and picking up…nothing.

Now, there are moments when God screams into our ears and it becomes impossible to ignore. But I am talking about the ordinary, everyday moments that God uses to change our us.

For me, one of the things that the book of Esther is telling me is that in the ups and downs of my life, however major or minor they seem to be, God is at work. He is getting my attention and teaching me. The question isn’t “Is God there…” the real question is, “Will I slow down and pay attention enough to see it?”

Now, I am preaching to myself. Slowing down and taking time to process our experiences, it all takes a tremendous amount of effort and practice. But if it’s true that God is in these moments, and I really believe that it is, isn’t it worth it?

I didn’t learn to do this on my own. (Actually, I am still not the greatest at it and need people to remind me.) I learned by watching people who were good at it. By observing those people who do pay attention to God in their lives and respond to Him. I noticed that these were the people who were experiencing change in their lives and joy in their hearts.

While you were reading this, I bet someone you know who does this popped into your mind. Why not ask them how they do it? After all, isn’t this how we learn to do everything in our lives…by watching someone who is good at something and learning that skill from them?

There, you slowed down enough to read this blog (I’m surprised!), why not a few more seconds…or minutes. What happened to you today? What was the best part of your day? The worst part…? Where is God getting your attention?

Now, what are you going to do about it?

– Pastor Hayden