Thoughts on Attentiveness
In Matthew 24 and 25 there are a few parables in which Jesus reminds us to remain watchful and alert to Him. Attentiveness doesn’t automatically just happen…it requires intention from us.
Attentiveness is a necessary part of prayer, successful life and discipleship. Consider what it looks like when your children aren’t attentive to their schoolwork, or when you aren’t attentive to the task assigned to you by your boss!
C.S. Lewis: “We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade, the presence of God. The world is crowded with Him. He walks everywhere incognito. And the incognito is not always hard to penetrate. The real labour is to attend. In fact, to come awake. Still more, to remain awake.”
Practically, here are some ways we can practice staying alert and awake:
1. Choose to Enjoy God. The partnering relationship we have with him isn’t a task list.
2. Repeat what He says, and the thoughts from Him that flow through your mind.
3. Ask the Father to Reinforce your Identity. You will find it easier to be attentive to God as you gain freedom from the voice of self-importance and self-concern.
4. Experience God’s presence in the every day. Like Elijah, we agreee that God’s presence is often not in the mountain-shattering wind or the convulsions of an earthquake or the consuming fires, but rather in God’s gentle “quiet whisper” (1 Kings. 19:11–12). Seeing Him in the every day tunes our hears and frees us from expecting or seeking only the spectacular encounters with God.
Attentiveness is cultivated…It doesn’t just happen. Periodic awareness and engagement with God is not the intended design. Cultivating attentiveness to God closes the gap between mentally agreeing that God is present and experiencing God in that moment.
Here are a couple questions to ask: (1) Where have I met You (Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit) today? (2) Where have I missed Jesus (or God or the Holy Spirit) today? Ask these questions throughout each day and week, and you’ll be surprised how much more you recognize God’s presence with you.