The Act of Noticing

Maybe this is naive of me, but I believe that most people do want to live in God’s bigger picture. I believe that it is innately in us. A deep desire to live for more than ourselves. Now, don’t get me wrong, in some people, let’s just be honest, that desire gets lost deep, deep down inside of them, allowing selfishness to rampantly take over. But in many others, the desire is there, they just don’t see the opportunities in their lives to do so. They think they aren’t a missionary in a foreign country, or someone in full time ministry – they just live a normal, average American life, so they don’t really have opportunities to live in God’s bigger picture.

But this could not be further from the truth. Reality is, there are opportunities all around, they just often go unnoticed. And that is usually because we haven’t asked to notice them. See, the act of noticing is a spiritual one. It is a God-ordained one. It is activated by prayer. And when the prayers aren’t prayed, the opportunities go unnoticed.  In his book, “Draw the Circle: The 40-Day Prayer Challenge”, Mark Batterson states, “Prayer turns us into first-class noticers. It helps us see what God wants us to notice. The more you pray, the more you notice; the less you pray, the less you notice. It’s as simple as that.” He continues on to say, “When we open our spiritual eyes, we start seeing God everywhere we look. We see the image of God in others. We see His fingerprints on His creation. We see God-ordained opportunities all around us all the time”

What about you? Do you notice God-ordained opportunities regularly? Or do they pass you by? Maybe it’s your neighbor whose elderly parent is in the hospital – could you take them a meal or offer to do their yard work for awhile? Maybe it’s a kid in one of your child’s classes at school that you can tell lives in a rough home environment – could you have him over for some play dates? Maybe it’s a stranger sitting on a bench in the park, clearly homeless – could you offer to buy him a meal? Maybe it’s your friend’s teenage daughter who is having a hard time in high school – could you get coffee with her each week to be a listening ear? Maybe there are orphans coming to your town that need a short-term host family – could you host one of them?

There is no shortage of people who are struggling or in need in some form or fashion, meaning there is no shortage of opportunities to live in God’s bigger picture. Let’s pray for them, notice them, and act upon them.

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