“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” – Matthew 6:34 (MSG).
Do you feel sometimes like you are talking to a brick wall? It can be exasperating when you’re trying to communicate with someone, but you know that what you are saying is “going in one ear and out the other.” There’s nothing worse than having a conversation with someone who pulls out their phones and begins pushing buttons and flipping through apps while you’re speaking; you are so uninteresting that you have been one-upped by a piece of technology. Getting or giving someone your undivided attention is difficult in today’s digital age.
Then there is Jesus. He was present in all that He did. Can you imagine Jesus sitting down with you at a meal and constantly looking out the window or asking you to repeat what you said, distracted and distant as if wishing He was somewhere else? No. When He bent down to heal someone He looked into their eyes and spoke comfort to their heart. When He went away to be alone with God, He listened fully to his Father’s guiding voice. And on the eve of His crucifixion, knowing full well that He would be tortured and killed the next day, He remained perfectly present to His disciples, to His friends. He ate with them. He prayed with them. He washed their feet in a spirit of humility and love. Jesus lived presently and gave all of His attention to the work of love before Him.
Jesus gave us His full attention, but do we reciprocate? Or do we meditate on His Word while scrolling down our to-do list? Our prayers are interrupted by random thoughts and other pauses to take care of this or remember to do that. Our intentions are good but it is a challenge to set aside some time to be alone with God. No phones. No television. Just you and God. Just me and God. No stray thoughts. No agendas. No to-do lists. God deserves at least that much.
He does. He deserves that when we spend time with Him that we shut everything else out and “focus completely on Him.” The living God doesn’t want just some of me when I spend time with Him, He wants all of me. Just like we need full attention in a heart-to-heart conversation with someone. God deserves the same from us.
In the Bible, Paul commissions us to “Pray without ceasing.” I know that keeping our full attention on God isn’t always practical. But we can always pray while we’re exercising, driving, or working – whatever. The solution is to spend time every day just with Him to focus on what’s going on in our lives. “I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” (Psalm 16:8 NIV)
- What types of things are competing with God for your attention?
- How can we better give our time and attention to God this week?