Paying Attention

Hi everyone, Rob here.

Do you sometimes, or often, find yourself doing things that aren’t good for you? Take last night for instance. I was tired and needed an early night but instead I watched TV and theneyes-141363_640 read a book until nearly midnight. Guess what? I’m still tired. Often we ignore our need for exercise or healthy food and wonder why our energy levels are so low. We ignore our need to be alone or our need to be with people. More seriously, we ignore our deep need for God and do foolish things with the ache in our hearts. How can we become more attentive to what we actually need instead of dismissing our internal signals so easily?

What if we believed that our internal signals were the Holy Spirit speaking to us, nudging us towards wisdom and trust? That changes the whole conversation doesn’t it? God does actually love us and care for us. He wants the best for us and that means he wants to partner with us in caring for our heart. So why wouldn’t the Spirit suggest I have an early night or to resist the second piece of cake or go for a run?

God doesn’t want us to burn out, check out or hide out. He takes care of us so that we can play our part in caring for others. He refreshes our hearts so that we can be a source of refreshment to others. An early night last night would have given me far more resources for a meeting I have tonight. Lately God’s been nudging me about my smartphone and tablet use. He wants me to be more present to my wife and children. If I’m healthy then I’m more effective in my work. If we allow God to help us take care of our internal world then we will be able to bring more of God’s presence into our external world. That’s what we want isn’t it? We want our family members to know God’s love through the way we love them. We want our work meetings to be filled with life and purpose. We want to reflect hope, joy and peace to our world. We can’t do that if our hearts are a mess. We can’t do it if we’re always tired, stressed, bedraggled and grumpy.

Our seemingly small, insignificant choices about sleep, diet, social events, TV watching, social media activity and so on have a great impact on the lives we live. God wants to be involved in them. So pray things like “Jesus, I love this programme but I’m tired. What’s the best thing for me to do here?” “Father, I want more chocolate but I know that’s not good. Give me the ability to choose wisely.” There was nothing wrong with the programme I watched or the book I read, but I didn’t need both. In fact, my need was to do something I enjoyed after a busy week of helping others. My prayer needed to be “Father, what’s the invitation? The programme or the book?”

There’s no condemnation for the choice I made last night but it’s not to be ignored either. It seems like God is inviting me to involve him in the little things because he has bigger things in store. If I’m to be effective for the sake of his kingdom then learning to walk in his strength seems like a very good idea. The same is true for all of us. Let the little things of life become the training ground where we learn trust, faith and surrender.

Blessings.

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