pay attention

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Image by zoonabar via Flickr

We have all probably heard or said the admonition to “pay attention”.  I have observed parents  pull their children back onto curbs with this admonition.  I have heard teachers encourage students to  “pay attention” during class.  We try to instill this lesson in our children to keep them safe, help them know what they need to know, and become their best selves. Yet, it seems that we often forget this life lesson as adults.

 

Recently it took me at least 20 tries to create a new user identification and password.  I was not paying attention.  The password was required to have a non-alpha-numeric character, but I was not putting one into the password.  I was not paying attention.  Then I finally paid attention to the password instructions.  Unfortunately, the situation was not resolved.  No capital letters were allowed in the identification name.  I kept submitting capitalized identification names.  I finally realized that the problem was not the number of characters, but the capitalized first letter.  I finally paid attention and was able to complete the process.  Finally!

 

While this is an example of my lace-of-attention, there are many more instances of not paying attention.  We don’t pay attention to the people around us.  We don’t pay attention to the woman struggling to enter the building with the stroller and small children.  We don’t pay attention to other people’s needs.  We don’t pay attention to the new person sitting near us in church.  We don’t pay attention to the warning signs are bodies give us.  We don’t pay attention to the signs of struggle, isolation, hopeless, and grief that are all around us.  When we don’t pay attention, we find larger issues.  We find that the unheeded warning signs from our bodies leads to a much more critical and serious medical problem.  We find  that ignoring to the needs of others damages our relationships, sometimes to the point of being beyond repair.  We find by not paying attention, we do not help make the kingdom of God a reality on earth.  Pay attention to the people around you.  Pay attention to your self.  Pay attention, for just like the child about to walk into oncoming traffic, you life and the kingdom of God depend on it.

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