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  • Writer's pictureGreg Dover

Greg's Weekly Word: "attention"

This is a picture of my spirit animal...

Painting of a squirrel wearing a bowtie and holding a coffee cup
A squirrel in a bowtie with coffee = Greg Dover

I saw it in a discount department store and thought it was perfect. Not only because of the attire and beverage, but because - like a squirrel - my attention is constantly bouncing around from one thing to another.

I would bet that many of us struggle with attention - whether it is a diagnosable case of ADHD, or the fact that we are easily distracted. To say nothing of having to hold this posture for more than 20 seconds:

Soldier standing at attention
Seriously: I don't know how they do it

But what if attention is not something that we are meant to hold, but something meant to help us grow?

The word "attention" comes from Latin and literally means, "to stretch toward." Attention is not rigid (unlike those soldiers), nor is it meant to be passive (how we may often think of it...simply looking at or listening to something else). When we give someone or something our attention, it is a way for us to stretch ourselves toward that person or thing. And like stretching our bodies, it helps us to stay limber and loose, and to grow and do more than we might be able to otherwise.

So this week, I encourage you to reflect on these questions:

- To what and to whom are we giving our attention?

- Are we stretching ourselves to give our attention more deeply to God and to others?

- How could our attention (to people, to our faith, to God) help to grow into the people God would have us to be?

And then exercise it! Put it into practice, and pay attention to how God is at work in you and through you, allowing you to grow more, to do more, and to be more of the person Christ is calling you to be.


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