Back when you were in school, sitting and talking to classmates or spacing off, did the teacher ever try to get your attention? Maybe just saying your name would get your attention as much as hitting you with an eraser. One day in High School History Class, a class mate of mine was snoozing on his desk near the front of the class, partly because the teacher, who was generally polite and pleasant to most everyone, would talk non-stop in a low, steady voice. While continuing to give his lecture, he walked up to my classmate’s desk and started violently shaking it while chanting his name for several seconds. Needless to say, he got the attention of most everyone in class. While that may not fly as well today, it seemed to work at the time. How do others around you get your undivided attention?
Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise. Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding. Proverbs 15:31-32
If you are in the middle of a project and working intently, is there something your spouse of family member can do to redirect your focus to an area they need your help with? Anymore, if I want my wife to remember something I say, I may send her a phone text or email, just so I can recall…see here I told you about it, when called into question. There have been several times when my 1 year old daughter would ask me something while I was holding her and if I didn’t respond, she would take her tiny hands and turn my head to look at her and restate what she was saying. She demanded that I listen! Some people can be more indirect in their requests, while others can be overbearing. Eventually, we learn to condition ourselves to meet, or ignore, the unique needs of others. How does God usually get your attention, so that you start paying more attention and even conversing with Him?
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11
If you are much like me, there are several ways God can alert me to what He wants me to hear. One is through unique life events. Often when we encounter major milestones such as graduation, moving to a new place, marriage, the birth of a child, the death of a loved one, and other events, we are more in tune to those around us, and we may become more reflective and sensitive to what others have to say. Maybe we even consult God and ask him about what we should do, especially when we are taken by surprise or when things are out of our control, we are more apt to listen to God and to others. A second way He may get our attention is through the Truth of the Word. When we hear or read the Word, God’s spirit speaks to our spirit in all truth, bringing us to the knowledge of who God is, and the nature of Christ. We may be convicted to stop and expel sin from our lives when we become aware of it, or we may be motivated to do something in an area we feel he is calling us to act. A third way God can get our attention is through others. We may hear a preacher and go to him with questions, or a family member may say something that convicts us when we discover it is true, etc. When mama told us not to associate with scoundrels, it was a reminder that those around us can either have a positive or negative influence in our lives. Having someone wiser than ourselves that we trust can prove a blessing to us, and even to them.
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. James 4:14
So, as you go about your day, don’t forget to stop to listen and take advice from the One who made us, because He may know us better than we know ourselves. May you be blessed as you heed His correction and direction.
Yours in Christ,