A powerful, thought-provoking insight....

Give me a well-trained tongue that has been borne out of silent listening in the sanctuary of my heart.

~ sevensacredpauses by Macrina Wiederkehr

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Paying Attention

Paying attention. In today's world, we are challenged at times to pay attention for very long to anything. With all of our electronic devices interrupting us whenever; with 24-hour news availability from all over the world; with never-ending stimuli from any number of arenas, when do we find the time to stop and look and listen to where we are at any given moment?

My entire life has been structured around the need for me to pay attention, close attention, to what was going on around me, being said to me. I'm finding that my experience of being required to pay such close attention has been a gift in my adult life. I see things, hear things that others miss.

Being capable of paying attention is essential to spiritual growth. Spiritual growth is quiet. Spiritual growth is generally very slow going. Spiritual growth is never flashy. So, only through paying close attention to what God is doing in my life am I able to respond, to truly engage in the growth and the fruit of that growth.

One of my favorite results of paying attention is when I pray. When I pray and I go all "still and quiet" on the inside, I pay attention to what I hear; what I feel; what my heart takes note of. Paying attention in prayer is necessary if we ever want to see the answer. Sometimes, by paying attention in prayer, we realize that we are the answer.

Paying attention, realizing we are the answer to a prayer...those are sometimes very hard and scary things. Yet, isn't it wonderful that God has given us the faith to be a miracle? I find that worthy of paying attention. That idea makes my heart sing, makes the words "take me, mold me, fill me, use me" come to mind.

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