Thursday, March 18, 2010

Full Attention

I know I haven't been speaking very much...but I've been listening.

In high school, we had a yearly jeopardy competition.  We all faced off in groups of 6-8 and the winners moved on to the next level.  We were each equipped with little buzzers and everything.  It was great! 

But of course, this wasn't a mainstream TV competition.  Instead of having little video displays of each question, we had to rely on the voice of the Quiz Master...reading from his bank of index-card clues.

To keep things fair and honest, he would stop reading the clue as soon as someone buzzed in.  And inevitably, there would be a contestant who was overconfident in their ESP-esque ability to predict both the direction of the question, and the accuracy of the potential answer.

For example:  Quiz Master - "This director was the first..."  BZZZT!  Contestant - "Kathryn Bigelow"  Quiz Master - I'm sorry that's incorrect.  "This director was the first African-American to be nominated for Best Picture of the Year." Second, more patient contestant - "Quincy Jones."  Quiz Master - "That is correct."

As the first contestant is still reeling in disbelief, his points are claimed by another.  He may have known the answer, but he didn't listen to the clue.

Sometimes, I think I have the same problem when it comes to God.  As soon as I think I know where he's going with something, I'm off and running.  I'm too excited about the points to realize that He hasn't finished with all he has to say.

Daniel Golman said:  The act of compassion begins with full attention.

If I truly want to have a 'common passion' make God's heart my own, I need to give him my full attention.  Otherwise, I may find myself running off in the wrong direction with a false sense of confidence and camaraderie, while he's standing there shaking his head wanting to give me the critical information/inspiration/direction I need.

I certainly don't want to be standing there going "Ta-da!" only to hear him say, "I'm sorry, that's incorrect."  Even if those few extra moments feel like forever, I'd much rather be delayed than be on the wrong track.  Wouldn't you?

The need for full attention goes for our other relationships too.  My dad once told me that guys tend to stop listening after the first sentence or so because they're already trying to figure out their response.  (I think girls do this too.)  But instead of jumping ahead, what if we waited and gave each other our full attention? 

1 comment:

  1. challengy-one.

    Stop and Listen.

    Who'da thunk it.

    We all are a little buzzer happy at times...heck ALOT of the time!