We have so many ways to try to get people to pay attention. If you are married, how does your spouse get yours? How does a coach get his or her team’s attention when things are going badly? How do advertisers get our attention in this new media age? Politicians? Teachers?
More importantly, how does God get our attention?
In the long ago days God got our attention in ways such as these…
Adam and Eve: he walked in the garden and called “Where are you?”
Moses: he spoke through the spectacle of a bush burning but not burned up
Jacob: he came to him in a dream of a ladder going up to heaven
Samuel: he spoke to him during the night by name
Elijah: he startled him with earthquake and wind, then quieted him with a still, small voice
Mary: he sent an angel to tell her his plan
Wise men: he used a star for them to track
Paul: he had to use a blinding light to get his attention
John: he gave him visions of an open door to heaven
How does God get our attention these days?
I believe there are three primary ways:
- Through moments of special love, joy, and beauty, such as falling in love or in C.S. Lewis’ famous telling, being “surprised by joy”.
- Through the longings of our heart such as the pangs we feel when we realize that all of life is an unfinished symphony (Karl Rahner) and “If nothing on this earth can satisfy then it must be because we were made for another world” (Lewis again). We ought to pay particular attention to our tears. What brings tears springing to your eyes?
- Through our pain – if nothing else wakes us up, God may whisper in our joys and shout in our pain.
Where are you finding God getting your attention these days?