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Paying Attention

"He paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them." Acts 3:5 This verse from the reading of the Acts of the Apostles yesterday made me stop and take notice. The crippled man obviously caught the attention of Peter and John as one who needed to be cured and yet he was expecting something totally different...money. But, he paid attention. He expected to receive. He knew they had something for him. And, boy did they. Something greater than he could ever have imagined. I have been contemplating lately that I am a poor listener. I often think about my response instead of fully listening to what someone is saying to me. I just don't really pay attention. And lately, God has been specifically pointing this out to me. He has been telling me to be quiet, not only as a way of closing my mouth (difficult enough) but as a way of shutting down my mind. Letting go. Allowing others in. Especially Him. I often think that I know what others are going to say or what God has in store so I am thinking of my response before I even hear the comment or the question or receive the gift. Jesus calls us to pay attention. And, He calls us to expect to receive something when we do give Him and others our full attention. In our busy world, it is more difficult than we think to fully take time to listen; to fully take time to close our mouths and our minds and allow requests and answers to penetrate our hearts. One day at a time, may we practice paying attention. And in return, may we expect to receive. The gift of people present in our lives is not the gift of chance. Each word uttered, each encounter, has a purpose. Maybe something greater than we've ever imagined. Pay attention. Expect.
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