I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have the world’s greatest attention span. Sometimes I’m a little bit like the dog in Disney’s Up, constantly distracted by squirrels and basically everything besides the thing I am supposed to focus on. While I tended to do well in school it was typically because things came quickly and naturally to me, not because I paid particularly great attention to my teachers. When a subject did not come naturally my lack of attention caused problems. This was especially the case when it came to math. Not only did more advanced math not come naturally to me, I didn’t see how it applied to me in any way, shape, or form to my life. Adding and subtracting? Yeah, I get the point of that. Obtuse angles, LOGs, 2a-4b/65Z=2Q? Yeah, don’t see why I need to know that. I really didn’t pay attention well to math until college, and that was mostly because I thought my math tutor was really cute (I can say that as I’ve been married to her for 17 years!). The more I think about it, how many of our struggles in life are the result of us not paying attention?
I think all of us go through seasons in our lives where we don’t do a great job of paying attention to God, and unfortunately the Christmas season can be one of the biggest. We spend plenty of time sitting in church, attending various groups, reading books, and listening to Christian music, but have we truly been paying attention and putting God’s ways into practice? These words from Hebrews really convicted me this week:
Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? Hebrews 2:1-3
When Paul says “we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard” he is referring to the teachings of Jesus (although, as he goes onto proclaim, all of God’s Word requires our attention). Not only does he tell us to pay attention, but he warns us of the likely results of inattention: drifting away from God. When we stop truly paying attention to God’s Word our relationship to Him tends to slowly drift away.
How well are you doing at paying attention to God? Specifically, how are you doing at paying attention to His Word? The question is not only about if you are reading the Bible, but whether or not you are obeying it. Are you turning to it when you have questions in life? Are you using it as a roadmap for living? Are you not only avoiding those things it says not to do, but also doing those things it commands you to do? This Christmas season, let us all take time to truly pay attention to God and His Word, obeying it in word and in deed.