I had asked the man if he had a few minutes to talk. Something had been bothering me and I needed a few minutes of his time. Maybe he could help me figure it out.
“Okay, I’m ready,” he said. But I could tell he wasn’t.
And as I shared what was in my heart, his eyes kept drifting back to his computer screen.
It’s okay, I said to myself. He’s giving me some attention. He can do two things at once. But there was something inside me that just couldn’t buy that.
Was he hearing what I was really saying? If I stopped talking in the middle of a sentence and walked out of the room, would he really even notice if I was gone?
I had the sneaking suspicion that maybe he wouldn’t. That what I was saying was secondary to what he really wanted to focus on. And I think that’s what bothered me the most.
I guess I felt belittled and left the conversation more frustrated than when I had started.
When my five children were little, my husband and I tried a lot of different types of parenting techniques on them. Growing Kids God’s Way, Have a New Kid by Friday, and the Total Transformation Program, were a few of our “go to’s.” Some seemed to work, while others, well, not so much.
One thing though, that I would say we used the whole way through was the "look at me" technique.
Because getting the attention of a distracted child was tough, we had a habit of saying the words “look at me” to our kids when we needed them to focus on what we were saying. Often, the words came when we were in some kind of behavior-related teaching mode.
If my son or daughter were acting out in some way, we would take a moment, often getting at eye level with them, and point two fingers towards our eyes and say, “Look at me,” before we spoke. And because we prefaced our words with this, they would stop what they were doing and turn their eyes on us.
It was an effective way to make a connection and to ensure they were paying attention.
When it comes to spending time with God, I think one of the most difficult things for me to do is shut everything else out and “look at Him.”
But when I do accomplish this, it tends to be the most rewarding part of my day. Why? Because I took the time to shut everything else out and focus just on Him. The living God doesn’t want just some of me when I spend time with Him, He wants all if me.
Just like we need full attention in a heart-to-heart conversation with someone. God deserves the same from us.
In the Bible, Paul commissions us to “Pray without ceasing.” I know that keeping our full attention on God isn’t always practical. And we can always pray while we’re exercising, driving, or working - whatever
What I'm really talking about is that time each day that we should be setting aside to spend time just with him. Those should be times of deep focus no matter what else we've got going on in our lives. It should be time we take just look at Him—and to listen.
Writing this post, my mind kept going to the Bethel Music song “It is Well.” I think it’s because of its chorus:
And through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
And through it all, through it all
It is well
If things aren’t going well today, maybe God is saying “Look at Me.”
Here's What the Bible Says:
Psalm 16:8 New International Version (NIV)
8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Psalm 34:5 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
5 Keep your eyes on the Lord!
You will shine like the sun
and never blush with shame.
Hebrews 12:2 New International Version (NIV)
2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
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