The Power of Paying Attention

One of the most audacious claims of Christianity is that God actually pays attention; not just to us, but to me, that God loves me, knows me, spends time thinking about me; moves in divine providence toward me, engages in the complexity of the sweep of history and human events in order to know me, love me, bless me, sustain me, and to bring me into His presence.

As a follower of Jesus, when you are tempted to feel sorry for yourself, when God seems to be silent, remember He is never still. And though He may seem distant, He is always thinking about you. He is paying attention to you. What matters to you, what you care about, matters to Him. And because He pays attention to you, you can turn around and pay attention to the things that He cares about, that He can’t do without you. Yeah, isn’t that amazing? There are many things God can’t do without you.

For example He can’t build His church without people. He can’t build His church without pastors, without leaders, without those who willingly follow. That’s where you and I come in. The power of paying attention: because God pays attention to us, we are free to pay attention to others.

It’s just like the men I see who climb up telephone poles. They put on these special spurs that allow them to dig in on the side of the pole and to climb. The climbing is all on them. They’ll never get to the top without exerting energy. But once they’re at the top, to stay there, they have a safety belt they put around them that allows them to work hands-free without fear of falling.

Every day God’s attention in my direction is like that safety belt; assuring me that God has never broken a promise or betrayed a trust, allowing me to live hands-free and paying attention to the things that matter to God. That’s the power of paying attention. Who’s paying attention to you depends on what you’re able to pay attention to.

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