Attention Displacement reDirection



Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;
pay attention and gain understanding.



This isn’t advice from a distant, uninvolved, emotionally detached instructor. This is instruction –  in life –  from a father.

Listen ! … from a father who knows.

Pay attention! … from a father who cares.

Gain understanding! … from a father who understands.



It’s the end of a very long school year. A hard year.

It was a year I had to fight for every bit of attention I could get. (I guess I don’t hold the same WOW as a video game.) I tried everything! I sang and danced. I cajoled. I reasoned. I wrestled and demanded. I rewarded and I disciplined. I prayed… constantly.

The expectations were clear… but this year that didn’t seem to be enough. Phone calls were made, recesses were missed, heart to hearts were had, privileges were granted and privileges were lost.

The thing is: If there had been just a few kiddos that needed the extra “reminding” of consequences, no problem…  send them off into other classrooms or to the office and prove a bigger point. But this year there was more than a handful. And though individually each kiddo was a sweetheart of greatness – put together the combo created the perfect heat to burst into a frenzy of popping corn. I fought hard for those kiddos that were as frustrated as me with the choices of the crowd, but in effect, the handful changed the course of the year for all the rest.

So much more learning,

so many more choices

and opportunities

and fun adventures

could have taken place.

But they didn’t.

In all ways, I strove to be consistent and fair… but the meting out of consequences took a toll. I had to teach with hands tied this year, and a heart shackled. “Come on, guys! Make good choices… Pay attention! You’re here to learn! It can be amazing! I promise it will be worth it!” I felt like Jesus talking to Jerusalem when he said, “… how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chick under her wings, and you would not!

And the sad part is:  they don’t even know what they missed.

But I do.

… And I gave up.

I gave up on me. I gave up on the handful. I gave up on reaching for the Gold

and I settled for just crossing the finish line.

I’m not proud of that.

And I’m not making excuses.

But I sure as heck better learn from it! … ’cause honestly it broke my heart.


So what did you learn, Jane?

hmmm, well here’s a start:


I don’t want to be like one of my distracted kiddos, so involved in my own bubble of life, that I am oblivious to the bigger picture.

I don’t want to be one of “those” who’s so intent on their own agenda they forget about others – or worse – don’t care.

I don’t want to be the one with no oil in my lamp… ’cause I gave up and I just wasn’t paying attention.

I need to hold my breath for each word from his mouth,

I need to believe in a love so strong it was sent to the cross to prove it, to conquer all the black uglies for me, and place me high on a rock of new life.

I want my life to be lived for him… and not squandered in my bubble.


I’m so thankful I have a father who knows me. Who cares. Who understands.

As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
    he remembers that we are dust. (Ps 103)

And I know I will never quite see the whole picture this side of heaven….

but, the fact remains:

I have a father who does see the whole picture, and I need to pay attention to him.

Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;
pay attention and gain understanding.




Oh Lord, help me pay the cost of attention – the cost you are due. Give me your eyes Lord, so I can truly see beyond me… as you remind me who I am.


Watering Today:



2 comments on “Attention Displacement reDirection

  1. Sandra Reed says:

    How brave of you to admit your struggles this year my friend. I hope our Lord brings you perfect rest over this summer break. I know how tough it is when we disappoint ourselves and fall short. I sure miss your beautiful soul…

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