Being ignored is worse than being disliked. I can’t think of a more unkind thing one person can to do another. If someone dislikes you at least there’s some passion and attention involved! But to be ignored or to be treated indifferently is tantamount to not existing.
It seems to me that more and more, mankind is ignoring mankind. Social media provides a great means of keeping in touch, but also many ways to show indifference to others. How many emails, phone calls, texts and messages do we send to others that are simply unanswered and ignored? How often do you see people around a dining table texting someone else rather than giving attention to those right across the table? It’s even worse when the one you’re texting or calling is a friend or family member and still ignores you! It’s as if you’re talking to them and they just walk away without even acknowledging that you’re speaking to them.
I can be sure of this:God does not ignore me. He hears my every prayer, cry and petition. But do I ignore Him? Does He speak to me through the pastor, or an event or His still small voice or His Word and I deliberately turn a deaf ear to Him? How offensive to the Almighty! Do I really think that there are some things I need to tend to that are more important than paying attention to God?
How can I be sure that I am paying attention to Him? By praying and seeking Him at the beginning of the day and throughout the day. Martin Luther once said that “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” Am I ignoring Him by curtailing my time in prayer with Him to attend to “more urgent matters”?
As a child I was guilty a few times of ignoring my mom or dad when they were calling me—-but not many times. But I learned quickly of the dire consequences of not paying attention to them. We were not allowed to “wait and obey”. My parents never “counted” for us. As John Piper once said, “Delayed obedience is disobedience.”
I need to be reminded that I was called to be disciples of Jesus, and that means listening and paying attention to Him.
Saint Francis once prayed:
O God, I thank you for my work which provides for my needs. All of my time is a gift from You. I offer to you this hour of my work for the mission of the Church. Use this hour of my salary to continue to build your Kingdom. May this hour which I give to the Church enable my brothers and sisters to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, welcome back the sinner, console the grieving, and offer up the bread and wine for all of us .May this hour of my work be joined to the work of the whole Church, that together we may be the living sacrifice which sanctifies the world. All glory, praise and honor be to you, O God, forever and ever.
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