As Leighton Ford concludes Chapter 3 of The Attentive Life, he postulates that preoccupation is a key contributor to inattentiveness. He states: “A space- whether a house or a mind- that is preoccupied is so crowded that it has little space for anything else to enter.” How, then, can we come to attention to God, who always is present?
Mr. Ford believes this is the path to awakening- that Jesus reaches out to us in ways that will best awaken the longing He has planted in us from eternity. As St. Paul told the philosophers on Mars Hill: “He (God) determined the times set for them and the exact places they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out to him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.”- Acts 17:26-27
When we wake, our first thoughts should be directed toward God. As the author notes, the exact form of our prayer doesn’t matter. What does matter is the reality of that prayer. C. S. Lewis described this reality in Letters to Malcolm, Chiefly on Prayer:
“The prayer preceding all prayers is this. May it be the real I who speaks. May it be the real Thou that I speak to.”
Today’s question: What primary thoughts have preoccupied your mind in the wake of your ministry downsizing or position loss? What have you found effective in helping you come to attention to God? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Stop, look, then go”