Daily Devotional LifeJourney Church (MCC)

Pay Attention To Me!

March 12, 2012 • Category: Proverbs

Today’s scripture: Proverbs 4:20-27 (NRSV) (The Message) (KJV) What might God be saying to me?

My thoughts (Tommy Chittenden):

I returned to Indy this week after a long weekend in Florida for the Perez Family Reunion (Mama’s people). There is at least one trip daily to the local Winn-Dixie grocery store, a beautiful store complete with amazing fragrant oranges, grapefruit, tomatoes, bell peppers, and beautiful flowers.

But it was something else that got my attention on this visit. While it is still almost four months before the official first day of hurricane season, an area of the store was already fully stocked with essential supplies needed to be prepared for the disruption a hurricane brings to town. There was also a list of the names that will be applied to each hurricane in 2012: Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Florence, Gordon, Helene, Isaac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Michael, Nadine, Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sandy, Tony, Valerie and William. So if you happen to have one of these names get ready for the inevitable comparisons!

One advantage hurricanes have over other weather is that you typically have several days warning to make preparations. When the National Weather Service issues a warning or an evacuation order, most people take them very seriously, and the highways are jammed with vehicles heading north.

But there has always been a tradition in my home state of hosting “hurricane parties.” Before the more recent powerful and deadly hurricanes, we would hunker down in our homes with flashlights, Sterno cookers, canned goods, and radios, and we would play games. It was always actually kind of fun until we had to pick up all the debris in the yard and street and return to our routine school schedule. I do still remember that everyone wasn’t always so fortunate and some would lose their homes, their vehicles, and even their lives, all because they didn’t take the warnings seriously.

Most of Proverbs (chapters 1 through 9) is written from a father to his son. The father in Proverbs wants his son to avoid the equivalent of a “hurricane party.” He doesn’t want his son to go through life mocking danger and ignoring the clear warning signs all around him. He wants his son to be wise and protected, avoiding external dangers (people and circumstances). In chapter 4 that concern shifts to a desire that his son guard himself internally. The father is very clear that he wants his son to pay attention to the warning signs in his own heart.

When I chose the name Close Encounters of the Heart for the Oasis that Larry Heavilon leads at LifeJourney Church, it was done with great intention. For decades I had personally ignored most of the warning signs in my own life, not paying attention to the song of my heart, much more interested in the party features of life — wearing my mask(s), always learning but not even coming close to the truth, having things, having the “right” answers, having the right people around — you know what I mean. In March 2005, the life in which I was invested suffered a cardiac arrest — not a physical one mind you, but one that ushered me to a “close encounter” with my own sacred heart. It could not have been any more clear:

  • Pay attention to me.
  • Let me BE.
  • I will make all things new and right and will lead you to your inner wisdom as you continue your life journey, discovering what Love looks like for you.

Whether your name is one of those that will be assigned to a hurricane or not, the spiritual damage that results when we ignore the God-inspired promptings that originate in our sacred heart, has the potential to keep us stuck, despising life. And when we attach meaning to our destructive thoughts, can even lead to hating our self! Consider that sense of “feeling stuck” or of “a meaningless life” as a warning sign from the Internal Weather Service that you are out of balance, paying to0 much attention to the things of the world instead of the gifts that come from the heart.

Is today the day you will have your own “close encounter” with your heart? If so, you will meet God there. Guaranteed.

Thought for the day: For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. 2 Chronicles 16:9

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.

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