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What is Getting Your Attention?

A lady approached the pastor of her church and told him she had decided to leave. He asked her why she had decided to do this. She replied that she was fed up with people bickering and complaining about things in church. She was upset with those who were gossiping about people, and had come to the conclusion she should leave. The pastor paused for a moment and then said, “I understand, but before you leave, would you do this one simple thing for me? Would you carry round the church a glass full of water and be careful not to spill a single drop?” Rather puzzled, the lady agreed, and was given a large glass of water full to the brim. She very slowly and carefully walked around the church and proudly returned it to the pastor, happy that she had done what he had asked and could now leave. The pastor thanked her and asked, “when you were walking around the church with the glass of water, did you hear any bickering, complaining or gossiping?” ‘No’ she replied. “And why do you think that was”, asked the pastor. “Well, because I was focussed on not spilling a drop of water!”, she responded. “Exactly!”, said the pastor. “When your focus is on something else, you just don’t hear those things”.

I don’t even know if that story is true. But it does contain a powerful message. Most of us get annoyed, upset or put out when hearing things like the lady in the story had, but we do tend to ignore the many times we’ve done those very same things ourselves. Think for a moment. When we’re alone in a café we can find ourselves picking up the conversations of those nearby, especially if they’re on their mobile phone. We do that even if we don’t really want to. But, when our friend joins us, all that fades into the background, as we focus on them, and what they’re saying.

Shouldn’t that be the same for us in church, at house group, or worship practice? In fact, wherever and whenever we gather with other Christians? Shouldn’t our primary focus be on Jesus, talking to Him, listening to Him, being silent with Him, and receiving His love and giving it to Him in return? If we did, and I speak to myself here more than I speak to you, then all those unwanted intrusions would just disappear. The message in today’s ‘seed’ is to encourage us (you and me) to cultivate an attitude of focussing on the Lord. In doing so, may the words of that old hymn become a real experience for us ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face; and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.’

Prayer: Lord Jesus, please help me to focus, not on what others are doing or saying, but upon You. I want to be so absorbed and taken up with worshipping You, and loving Your presence that nothing and no-one else matters. Amen.
 

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Scripture

Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.”

“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.”
Matthew 22:37, NLT &Hebrews 12:2 NIV

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Today's Writer

Philip Asselin is on the associate ministry and teaching teams with Glyndley Manor. He, and his wife Gillian, attended the second Healing Retreat at Glyndley Manor in 1992, and were greatly helped. They have 2 grown up children and one grandson, plus a step-granddaughter (both in California).

Philip Asselin


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