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Your Entire Attention

Your Entire Attention

19 April 2010

Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 22; Psalm 52; Matthew 6

Scripture:

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. (Matthew 6:34 MSG)

It’s so refreshing to me to read these familiar verses of the Sermon on the Mount in the conversational language of The Message. It must be much as it sounded to the people who stood, sat, and lay on the grassy hillside listening to Jesus talk in everyday terms about his Father’s eternal kingdom.

Jesus said that when we want to do something good for someone – help them or give them a gift to meet their need – just do it and don’t worry about how it looks or who notices. God notices and that’s enough.

Jesus said when we pray we should pray simple prayers to our Father who already knows what we need before we ask. Father God answers our prayers because he loves us, not because we use certain prayer formulas and techniques.

But the thought that really captured me today is verse 34, “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now..” The present moment is really all we have. The past is gone, the future is unknown. The present needs my entire attention!

I need to be fully present in the present moment. I get so easily distracted with past, future, and “other,” that I can miss full participation in the moment. It’s easy, too easy, to be thinking about something else and miss what someone is saying to me. It’s too easy to miss what I should learn or what I should contribute in this moment because I’m trying to work out the answer to something I expect to be dealing with tomorrow. I want to do better with this – with being fully present in the present moment.

Prayer:

Father, I know that all moments are the present moment to you. You, only you, can be present in all places and all moments. I can only be in one place and one moment at a time and I haven’t been doing as well at that as I want to. Help me to give the present moment and the person who is with me in each present moment my full, undivided attention. And then, with your help, I can live tomorrow when it gets here. Amen.

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