Yesterday, I was in a diner and noticed something that saddened me…it was something that I see more and more often these days. The man was reading the paper and enjoying some light conversation with the waitresses and the owner. A few minutes later the man’s wife came into the diner. Greetings were exchanged between her and the staff…and it was obvious they were regulars at the diner.
As the wife sat at the booth, across from her husband, I noticed that he didn’t look up from his paper to greet her…not even a hello or good morning. She kept glancing his way…but he never looked up. There was no receptivity or attentiveness on his part. I know I too, have been guilty of overlooking a loved one. How many times has this happened to you, where you’ve been either the ignorer or the ignored?
We love a number of people in life for many reasons, usually because we are related to them…by blood, marriage, kids, or Christ. But really loving them, whether romantically or platonically means developing real intimacy. Two key elements are key. The first is a willingness to open up and share our core, our everything, and be vulnerable with the other person. The second is attentiveness and receptivity to what the other person is communicating to us.
God desires to overwhelm those who are able to receive His gifts and blessings in full measure with an abundant life…those who truly yearn for and will actively pursue an intimate relationship with Him. Two traits that increase our intimacy with God are receptivity and attentiveness. Receptivity here is opening up our innermost being to be filled with God’s abundant riches. Attentiveness is directing our gaze toward Him; searching for Him in all our moments to receive His communication, instruction, and provision for us. God has done His part…opened Himself up to us through His word, sacrificed His son, and died for us. He is always attentive to our needs, thoughts, and feelings, as well as caring and providing for all our needs. Now it’s our turn.
Today, take time to reflect on the area of your life that you haven’t been receptive to God’s grace, love, forgiveness, or instruction. Why? Usually it’s because you are holding onto something too tightly. So what would you have to give up to let Him in for you to experience change? How would your life be different if you were attentive to all He has to give for that particular area of your life? Choose to focus on these two attributes; Receptivity and Attentiveness. Your decision, choose well.
Dear Father God, You are truly a God who gives, and gives, and gives. When Your Son died on the cross, He held back nothing; He poured out His life like a drink offering. I know that giving is inherent in Your nature; so thank You, Father. I pray that You help me increase my receptivity and attentiveness…knowing that both increases my ability to receive You and have the intimate relationship with You that I desire. I pray in the name of my most attentive Savior, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.
I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.