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Despite the blustery weather today, we met at Cherry Tree Court this morning, where Garry spoke from Ex 24:1-2, 9-12 about the importance of paying attention. In this passage, God invites His people to hear from Him and calls Moses up onto the mountain to be there with Him. We might think it’s obvious that if Moses went up onto the mountain, He would be with God, but so often we can be physically present but thinking of other things (‘off with the fairies’, as some say) and God wants our whole-hearted attention.
Surveys have shown that the attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds… but a 2015 survey discovered that a person’s attention span when surfing a webpage was just over 8 seconds. We are notoriously bad at paying attention to someone, always thinking of what things we should (or could) be doing. In reality, our ability to multi-task is not great; we need to focus on things separately to have maximum concentration and impact.
When we meet with God, He wants us to be focussed on Him. When we read His word, He wants this word to be a light to our paths, guiding us (see Ps 119:105). All His words are true (Ps 119:16); His word is a living word (Heb 4:12) and therefore demands our attention. We need fo fix this word in our hearts and mind (Deut 11:18), keeping it ‘cast’ there so that we can truly hear and digest what God is saying to us.
In the Parable of the Sower, God reminds us that His word is like seed scattered onto different soil. We must not let the world choke the seed or allow inattention to cause us to lose that seed. Instead, we need to pay careful attention to all God has to say to us and, as James reminds us, not just listen, but hear and obey. (Js 1:22-25)