Wednesday, March 22, 2017


(written on 3/16/17 in the Sonoran Desert somewhere north of Benson)

So back into the desert again for my yearly rhythm of wilderness, solitude, silence and listening. I came again, as I do each time, with some books for reading, a hymn book, journal, and some notes to help me embark on my discipline of resting, sitting, reading, writing .... This year I came eager to get direction, insights, to be challenged, connected, encouraged and renewed and was waiting on "what would the Lord show me this year?"

            The answer ... Nothing New!

In my journal from last year, at the end of the week I wrote that I felt the Lord saying,

            "Chris, just pay attention to Me."

It was like the parent who is trying to settle down the child who is running all over the place and unable to hear their parent's voices. I jotted down a couple action points, 2-3 things I believed I should be doing in addition to just making more space to pay attention to Jesus.

Now I am hearing the same thing again - likely because I didn't really pay attention this past year to the extent He longed for me to but also, perhaps, because that is simply the central thing that I should always be focused on.  Could it not only be our central calling but even our only calling.  "Just pay attention to Me," He says, "and everything else will follow." The Lord is patient and just keeps beckoning - pay attention, sit with Me...

Is it really as simple as "pay attention to Me?" It reminds me of the disciples on the Mt. of Transfiguration when the Father said "This is my Son, listen to Him!" That's straightforward and clear! We hear in other places as well - "draw near to Me" or "remain in Me" or "seek first the Kingdom."

A simple plan - clear, focused, inviting - hard to do for hurried souls like mine. What would the year look like if my first and foremost "agenda" item and the guiding element for each day was "pay attention to Him", "abide in Him"? This is more than "devotions" of course - it is a frame of mind and heart that connects all my moments.

From Calvin Miller: "The highest kind of obedience does not come from always asking, "What will You have me to do?" but in the moment-by-moment rehearsal of our love for Christ."

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