Have you ever been listening to a sermon or lesson and your attention begins to slip away? Or perhaps you’ve been reading something spiritual and find yourself becoming bored or apathetic towards what it says (hopefully not this one yet since we are only two sentences in). I have found myself in both situations and I’m often quick to push the blame away from me. I blame it on the poor speaking skills of the one preparing the sermon. I may explain it away by claiming that it’s simply not “my style.” Perhaps you’ve faced similar circumstances.
A friend once asked my dad if he’d like to attend a lecture. The lecture was some kind of medical lecture and though my dad had very little interest he agreed to go. The focus of the lecture, he found out, was on the 7th vertebrae of the human spine. At least one full hour was going to be spent talking about that one vertebrae. Needless to say, my father’s attention span was just about zero on this occasion. However, as he looked around the room he noticed something interesting. All of the other listeners in the room were listening very closely. Many of them were even taking frivolous notes and seemed incredibly focused on the speaker. The speaker, as my dad explains, was nothing special. He was just a simple doctor giving a lengthy talk about part of the human spine.
So why were these others listening so closely? It wasn’t because of the speakers abilities or style. It was because they were interested in the topic. In fact, not only were they interested but they saw it as a vital part of their studies. I often wonder why we aren’t always the same way about spiritual things. When I find my attention wandering during a sermon or some other presentation of God’s word I have to ask myself, “Are you losing focus because you aren’t truly interested in spiritual things?” Perhaps that is the problem. When we spend time reading God’s word or listen to others present God’s word, do we become disinterested because we haven’t truly invested ourselves in spiritual things?
Psalm 1:2 explains the actions of the righteous man and states, “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” If we are truly striving to be a righteous people, should we not delight in hearing and reading God’s word? Not only are we supposed to delight in God’s law but that should lead to our meditation in it. We should long to hear and read God’s word at every opportunity. Let’s challenge ourselves to do so. The next time you find your attention slipping during your Bible reading or during a lesson on God’s word, don’t put the blame on what you’re reading or who is speaking. Perhaps the true problem is that we haven’t fully invested ourselves in spiritual things.