The cost of paying attention

My son, be attentive to my wisdom;
incline your ear to my understanding.
Proverbs 5:1

Sometimes I struggle to pay attention.

Maybe it’s halfway through a sermon when I realize I’m no longer listening.

Or listening to a book on tape when I suddenly have no idea what’s been happening.

Or I’m trying to concentrate on a chapter in a book but Cam Newton is throwing for the Panthers on TV and I’m watching the clock to see when we need to leave for Life Talk and my stomach is really growling and ….

I want to pay better attention.
But paying = costs.
I have to give up one thing to get another.

This year I’ve dubbed as Depend and Delight. I’m depending more on the Lord, worrying less. Delighting more in his grace, less on my works.

Both keep requiring my attention.

What price am I willing to pay?

This month “suffering” keeps coming up in my Depend studies. And likewise in Delight. (I’ve found them supernaturally connected throughout the year in ways I’d never consider.)

When I learn to expect suffering (it always shows up one way or another), I can also learn to expect grace to accompany it. It’s the way God works. 

And I’ll always be better off afterwards. Really, God? Really. Being sifted through suffering can strengthen faith. It teaches us to rely more on God. And to look more for his grace.

If I’ll pay the price of suffering, I’ll receive the reward of faith.
If I’ll pay the price of being attentive, I’ll see amazing gifts of grace.
If I’ll pay the price of dying to self, I’ll gain the life of Christ in me.

I resolve to keep paying attention.
It’s worth the cost to accept the grace.

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