Spiritual Growth 101 (Paying attention…)

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front garden

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10

Sometimes spiritual growth involves just stopping for a moment, taking a deep breath, and paying attention. Friday afternoon was a good time to do some of that, pausing by the side of our driveway having spent a long seven hours driving down to Morehead City then back again – just to pick up my car.

IMG_E0021That’s right, my snazzy little Golf TDi ran into difficulties during last week’s golf/beach trip and had to be towed to a repair shop. Very sad. Anyway, much as I love North Carolina, the drive down through the coastal plain is tedious and non-scenic. So I was in need of some spiritual sustenance at the end of the day and God’s word for that was direct and uncomplicated: “Just open your eyes!”

Paying attention is probably the single most effective spiritual practice I know. Mostly because it involves slowing down, opening our eyes, and listening. Essentially, this is the practice of being fully aware. Intentionally fully aware.

When I think about it, this makes good sense because we cannot be fully aware without utilizing the senses, and the resources, God has given us. We came into this world equipped with all we need to be in tune with God. Our senses, our intelligence, our imagination, our strength.

This is why Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). In other words, love God with everything that we have; all that we are; both our intention and our practice.

IMG_E0111But we can’t listen, or see, or receive if we do not take pause and pay attention. Even if just a little.

Like I did this morning, walking through our neighborhood as the sun was beginning to make its way up and through the trees.

In love, and because of love – Derek

 

Bible commentary garden God photogrpahy

derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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