Monday, July 21, 2008

Undivided Attention

When people think about Jesus, they tend to see little relationship between him and us. He is God; I am human. He was perfect; I am, well . . . not. But he did not come to increase the distance between God and man, but to bridge that gap. One of his favorite ways of making godliness understandable and accessible was by telling parables. This past June, I saw a parable, if you will, of something that Jesus said about himself:

Jesus gave them this answer:
"I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does” (John 5:19-20a).

Inwardly, Jesus kept his eyes turned toward the Father, and immediately did what he saw the Father doing. Doesn’t that sound super-spiritual? But, really, I discovered, it’s very natural. Here’s my parable of what such undivided attention is like:

My daughter-in-law, Heidi, owns a small motorcycle and looks for opportunities to ride it. On the first day of my recent visit to Lexington, Kentucky, to see my son’s family, we all caravanned out to the country to Heidi’s parents’ new home. Mark led the way in the van with Connor and me as passengers. Heidi followed on the motorcycle with Nikki behind her. The plan was to avoid as much city traffic as possible.

Just as we were leaving the city, Mark said, “I need to pull over.” So he signaled and carefully edged onto the shoulder.

Heidi pulled up alongside him and said, “What?”

Mark answered, “Which way do you want to go?”

“What do you mean?” asked Heidi.

“I read your lips. You said, ‘I don’t want to go this way.’ ”

I was as astonished as Heidi. That was some kind of concerned, watchful care! Was Mark watching the road? It's hard to say, but there's no doubt that his eyes were riveted to the rear view mirror. Talk about undivided attention!

That’s how simple it is to keep our eyes on the Father. By so doing, we can detect his every wish, and immediately “pull over” to get complete instructions. When we do, we will be amazed at the results.

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