Dear Good People of Mystic Congregational Church!
The instruction to “pay attention” was lost on me as a five-year-old. My kindergarten teacher, ballet teacher and my mother all repeated it to me on several occasions, but I had no idea what they were talkingabout. It’s not that I couldn’t pay attention; it was that no one explained to me the meaning of the words.
I don’t remember when I finally understood what “pay attention” meant, but the notion is an important one during the season of Lent. We are entering the time of the liturgical year when we are invited to closely examine our lives in every realm. It is also the time when the tiny details of the arrival of Spring begin to unfold; and, if we’re not careful to pay attention, we will find ourselves standing in April wondering how we missed noticing the disappearance of the snow and the return of the birds.
Paying attention is more than just noticing, however. It is an intentional resolution to open our eyes, heavy-lidded from the winter months, to actually see the significance of what’s transpiring around us, to really see the people God has put in our paths to teach us, to nurture us, to reflect God’s love upon us. Paying attention is a deliberate decision to listen – to listen for God’s active presence in the world and the Holy Spirit’s beckoning in our hearts. In a word, to pay attention is to focus.
As this season of Lent begins, I invite you to shake off the hibernating slumber of winter to focus on all the ways God may be inviting you to come closer. I wish you sharp eyes, tuned ears, open minds and loving hearts.
With blessings and love,