“Pay attention.” Its always been a funny phrase to me.
But it captures a principle so well.
I have a certain amount of attention energy available to me.
And I pay out of it towards anything I focus on.
When I feel rushed it is because I am not paying attention to finding rest.
I’m not talking about doing nothing.
I’m talking of finding rest in the midst of the everything else going on in my life.
Life has always got too much going on.
Being alone with our thoughts is terrifying to most.
There are those little spaces of quiet in my life: sitting while waiting for an appointment, going to bed early, walking/driving somewhere.
I always end up flicking through social media or listening to a podcast instead of just being with my thoughts.
This is because in times of quiet, decisions that I need to make will bubble up to the surface. It is when I am avoiding a decision that I start avoiding thinking time.
Most people think they need quiet to find rest.
But when we have quiet, we resort to escapism; tv, social media, computer games, porn, alcohol, food etc…
These are distractions when what I really need is to make decisions.
The biggest consumer of attention energy is decision making.
Avoiding a decision is a decision.
A decision well made is actually an energy producer.
It is possible to cultivate rest amidst the noise. It starts with Direction and Decision.
What are all the things I am heading towards?
Intimacy with God. Intimacy with my Wife. Living in community. Contribution projects. Health to 120. Wealth projects.
These are my core values.
These core values are my attention focuses. Everything outside of this is distraction.
There will always be things that pop up crying for my attention that seem important if I’m unfocused on my core values.
Focusing in on my core values exposes distractions to their proper size and importance.
I can then make confident decisions that will keep me on the path to my core values.
“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”
“Cast your burdens on the lord for he cares about you.”
This is rest; to know who God has made you to be, and to make decisions that protect that identity.
It is in intimacy with God that our hearts values and desires are stoked into flame and all of our distractions are burnt away.