The Gift of Awareness Becoming Attention

3

John 15:5 (NIV)

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you [abide] in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

CONSIDER THIS

Let’s rehearse the alliterative path of awakening as we begin today:

  1. Awareness
  2. Attention
  3. Attunement
  4. Attachment
  5. Affection
  6. Abiding
  7. Abandonment

Beth recently made the following comment on our  Wake-Up Call Facebook Group: 1

I thought the “Awakening Journey” paragraph was powerful and lovely, but I thought, “that sounds like it takes a lot of time.” As a graduate student with a full time job, writer, and Bible teacher x 2—time is in short supply—even without my granddaughter in the house now. Even as I listened, the washing machine finished and my nasty floors begged for a bath. When will I find time to sit around and ponder all these things?

And then you led us to sing2 and that’s when it hit me: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus” while you’re putting wet clothes in the dryer, while you’re mopping the floors, while you’re doing schoolwork or work-work. That’s where awareness becomes attention—and the rest follows. I wrote down that whole paragraph—alliterations and all. I’m going to take care of the laundry now—with Jesus on my mind.

BINGO! This is not our to-do list of spiritual tasks. We are not the farmers. We are the field. This is the work of Jesus by his Spirit in us. We only become aware of him because he is already aware of us. We turn our eyes upon Jesus only to realize his eyes were already turned upon us. Even me, and yes, you! He was waiting for us the whole time, keeping watch over us, at times whispering, at other times gently shouting, “Wake up, sleeper! Rise from the dead! And I will shine on you!” He is not looking for us to do something to get his attention. We already have his attention. And he is not somehow “showing up” because we are waking up. No. He was already here.3

I am reminded of a story I learned about a tribe of people in sub-Saharan Africa. This tribe practices a greeting when they meet one another in the village or on the road. One will say, Sawa bona, which means, “I see you.” The other will respond, Sik hona, which means, “I am here.” Don’t you love the sacred simplicity of this act of awareness? 

My immediate application is to say to Jesus, “I see you,” and to hear him saying, “I am here.” Then it hits me. Jesus gets the first word. He says to me and you, “I see you.” It is then to us to make the gifted response, “I am here.” This is the gift of awareness. And the more aware we become, the more we realize that we are, in fact, here because he sees us. 

After this he gives us the gift of attention. We say to Jesus, “I see you.” And he responds, “I am here.” And he’s smiling. 

THE PRAYER

Farmer Father God, we hear you saying, “I see you.” Thank you for saying this to us; to me. And we say to you, “I am here.” I say it, “I am here.” And then we say, “I see you.” And we hear you say, “I am here.” And we say to each other, “The Spirit of Jesus in me greets the Spirit of Jesus in you and brings us together in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. And now we have the kingdom. Thank you for leading in this way of awareness becoming attention; of presencing together in your presence. Thank you for smiling at us. See me smiling now? Praying in the name of Jesus, amen. 

THE QUESTION

Sawa Bona! Sik Hona! How are you experiencing this exchange? Do you really believe he sees you? Or do you just believe he sees other people? 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

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NOTES FOR FURTHER REFLECTION

1. We know. A lot of you don’t do Facebook, and we understand. But if you do, this Wake-Up Call Facebook Group is a really rich feast of engagement around the daily Wake-Up Call. Lots of real friendships have been cultivated there. A number of bands have also formed in the mix. It is also filled with prayer warriors who are ever on the ready to pray for you. Occasionally I will pop on there, turn on the “Hot” sign and share a fresh donut. We also recently launched an Instagram account. Again, for those of you who do Instagram, check it out at @thewakeupcall. I’m not a big social media person, but I do frequent and contribute to these two places because it brings me closer to you. 

2. Yes, I have started singing on the daily Wake-Up Call, but you have to listen to the recording to hear it. My mom encouraged me in this because she loves to sing along. I think you will like it too. Something about the simplicity of singing without accompaniment makes our voices (and in time our hearts) the instrument. It will feel like the two of us singing together but in reality thousands of others will be joining the chorus. And we aren’t singing new songs. We are singing the old ones, the great hymns and the choruses that have survived the test of time. Speaking of which, go ahead and order yourself one of these beauties now. They are going to go fast. Soon I will be saying, “Turn to page 670 . . .” 

3. Some may be thinking, “So does the fact that Jesus is aware of all of us make us all Christians?” No, but it does pre-qualify us to become Christians. The gospel is that Jesus is aware, ready, and waiting on us to respond. Back during Covid I got a little bored and decided to write a short “Invitation to follow Jesus into an Awakened Life” piece. It gets beyond the usual highly propositional proof-texted, “God has a wonderful plan for your life” approach to sharing the gospel. I’d encourage you to check that out here. We even made a video version you can see and share here. If you are not following Jesus, I want to encourage you to start. There are simply no downsides to Jesus. While it is not hard to follow him, it is costly. He will take you seriously and expect you to do the same with him. 

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Where can Jesus go? He is omnipresent. He sits at the right hand of God while being in us and us in Him. I’m in this body called Doc, yet through prayer, meditation, and conversation, my soul is with/in Christ.
    Jesus always sees us, but where is our consciousness/soul? Are we where He is? Or, is our mind in the tsunami of doubt where the waves of “what ifs, why me, or how comes” drown us in fear and shame? I know that when we draw near Him, He is already here because he closes the gap like a finger snap.
    Learning to become like the One.

  2. I wake up in the morning and Jesus puts words in my heart. I respond by passively pondering and the words come together as individual phrases (and sometimes as poems). These are the words that manifested in my heart this morning when I first woke up: (The process sometimes continues through-out the day.)

    “To abide in Christ is to stay ever focused on Him.”

    “True Christ-followers keep their focus & awareness stayed on Jesus, not on self.”

    “In order to abide
    In Christ
    Let your heart reside
    Ever in awe of
    His presence inside.
    Continually confide
    In Jesus as your guide
    And never hide
    Or set Him aside.
    Always ride
    His Spirit-flowing tide
    Far and wide.”

  3. I use to get Seedbed in my email everyday, but for some reason it stopped coming. I looked in my spam, not there. I have submitted my email to yall many times, still not getting it. Not sure why. Do you have any suggestions? Something I may be doing wrong? So, I have just been finding you by going to Google each day.
    Thank you, I LOVE Wake-Up Call. Thank you JD. You are helping me to turn my eyes upon Jesus each day.

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