God and family deserve our undivided attention

Published 12:03 am Saturday, November 15, 2014

While heading home after completing my workday last Wednesday I decided to stop by and see Madeline for a few minutes.

I had not seen her for several days, so I figured she would be glad to have Papa to drop by.  I was happy to find that she was at home but I was not prepared for the reception I got; something had her attention in such a tight grasp that my presence had little effect on her.  That “something” was an electronic device that she was playing a game on.

I would be dishonest if I said it did not disappoint me, but I deal with enough little girls to know that when I give her another chance I will be back to my larger than life hero status in her six year old eyes.

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We are surrounded by so many gadgets that consume our time and attention that important relationships can suffer.  If we kept a tally on how much of our time each day gets devoured by using such gadgets we would probably be shocked.

And perhaps we would be even more shocked—and maybe even ashamed—if we compared that time to the amount of time that we spend with God and family.  We would all do well to pay more attention to what we are giving the most attention to and make necessary adjustments as needed.

Luke 10 records the event of Jesus Christ visiting the home of Martha and her sister, Mary.  Both of the ladies were honored to have their special guest in their home, but they responded in very different ways.  Martha was so occupied with all the preparations for the event that she had no time to focus undivided attention on Christ.  Mary, on the other hand, “sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said” (Verse 39, New International Version).  Being aware of what was taking place, He responded, ““Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her”” (Verses 41-42).

Martha was doing a good thing as she made preparations for her guest, but Mary chose to do what was best:  listening unhindered to His words of grace and truth.  There are times when we need to lay aside good things so we can concentrate on what is best.

It takes undivided attention to really get to know someone and to nurture a healthy relationship with them.  That certainly applies to our family lives and to our spiritual lives.

Many of us have found out through scary, if not tragic, ways what the consequences of being distracted while driving can result in.  Thankfully I have never been in an accident because I was not paying full attention to the road, but there have been some occasions when I was not as watchful as I should have been and the outcome could have been bad.  A safe driver is always an alert and attentive driver.

Allow that to remind you that to be successful in family and spiritual life it is essential for you to be alert and attentive, taking time to give undivided attention to God and to the family that He has blessed you with.

And just for the record, Madeline got finished with her game before I left, so I was able to drive away with a smile after all!