As a pastor of worship arts, I'm keenly aware that, on any given sunday morning, there are a lot of reasons people are sitting in the pews. And do you know what? They're all legitimate reasons. At the end of the day, whatever got people through our doors, I hope that by the time they walk back out (hopefully to return again next week), we've provided a place where they have been able to find a meaningful connection with God through His people.
Because we believe that God can - and does - transform us.
Because God pays attention to us - from the small things and the large things, from our shallowest moments to our deepest character - we are able to pay attention to Him. And we always become like that to which we pay the most attention. If I pay attention only to me, then I start a downward spiral into myself that can only end in brokenness, because I am broken, and I become like that to which I pay attention. If I pay my primary attention only to a spouse, to family, to hobbies or sports or art, to friends or even enemies, I likewise follow a path that can only lead to heartache and strife, because I become like that to which I pay attention, and as good as family and friends can be, they are still broken.
What preoccupies you?
God asks that we direct our attention to Him, because at the end of the day, it is the only thing that will transform us into the kind of people that reflect Him. When He is what preoccupies us, then the things He is concerned for also concern us.
When God is our focus, the poor are blessed because God pays attention to them, and so do we.
When God is our focus, the downtrodden are made joyful because God pays attention to them, and so do we.
When God is our focus, addictions are healed - in others, and in ourselves - because God pays attention to those afflicted by them, and so do we.
When God is our focus, the weak and broken are remade, because God pays attention to them, and so do we.
God is about restoration, and when we pay attention, we follow His lead to participate in the redemption of all things. Let's not take someone as big as God and make Him so small; instead, let's come out of our smallness into the grand story of God and what He is doing in our world.
A question for you today (I'd love to hear about this in the comments section):
As you follow God, what's caught your attention lately?