An Always Attentive God

As a child, it seems like I was always getting lost in the department stores my mother frequented, though, in reality, it probably only happened a couple of times. Fortunately, most of the time, when it happened, she wasn't far off. She usually just stepped around the corner and expected me to follow. Nevertheless, at the time, that didn't to me, because she was out of sight, and that left me feeling alone and afraid.

Of course, when I was a kid, I never truly stopped to consider how scared my mother must have been. While I haven't ever talked with her about it, or asked her how she felt when I'd go missing at Sears, I can imagine how she would have felt based on how I feel when I can't find one of my kids.

I still remember the first time it happened. I was in a city park with my oldest son who was just three-years-old at the time. Though the park wasn't very big, it was quite crowded with other parents and children, flying kites, playing ball, climbing on the jungle gym and so forth. As a result, though I always tried to keep a very close watch on my children so as to know their whereabouts at all times, at one point, I lost sight of my son, and my heart nearly jumped out of my throat. Remembering back to the panic I felt as a child the few times I was separated from my mother in a public place, I wanted to spare my son that same feeling of fear, which compelled me to action.

Immediately I stood up from where I was sitting and jerked my head back and forth, scanning the playground for any sight of my blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy. With each passing second, my heart beat faster as I failed to spot him among all the other children, and though I tried not to show it, my panic began to grow. Fortunately, a mother sitting nearby noticed my concern and quickly said to me, "Sir, he's over here, playing with my son, behind the slide. You just can't see him from where you are standing." Until that moment, it never occurred to me that I hadn't moved one inch from where I had been standing, which of course, makes it difficult to find an active child on a busy playground.

Sometimes we lose sight of the things that are most important to us.

Sometimes we lose sight of the things that are important to us. Sometimes we take our attention away from the things that matter most in life. Whether it's our kids, our marriages, or even our faith, sometimes we get so distracted by our busy lives, we lose sight of our relationship with God and how important it is to our well being. When that happens, we feel like a child who's gotten separated from their parent in a department store, or like a parent who can't find their child on the playground. We feel alone, anxious, apprehensive, and often become paralyzed with fear because he is the one who created us, sustains us, and gives our lives meaning.

The good news is, though we often lose sight of God, he never loses sight of us; because unlike earthly parents who occasionally take their eyes off their children, God never takes his eyes off his children. As a result, we're never alone because he's never far away. More likely than not, he's simply moved around the corner, and expected us to follow. Remembering that can help us to avoid becoming paralyzed by fear when we think we've been truly been separated from him.