Friday, October 08, 2010

Checked Out?

I needed devotions today. The sermon is in good shape and I have not been to Westmont College chapel this Fall. So I hiked up the hill to the gym. Along the way I met some students who attend MCC, faculty and staff I know, and greeted my good friend, Ben Patterson, Chaplain of the College. Typically for me, I sat near the back next to a mom who’s son is previewing the school.

The music was good. The Westmont orchestra played a contemporary song along with the worship band. Then Dean Jane Higa introduced the students to a series I did not know was going on “The Joy of Hymns”. The hymn featured today was “Be Thou My Vision” and what it meant to former Westmont president Dr. David Winter.

When Ben got up to preach, I was primed. He spoke on Christian Counterculter and our relationship with Jesus who is the “I Am”. I won’t dissect the sermon point by point, but it was good! He related Jesus to light and life and connected Jesus to the Feast of Tabernacles and the great chandelier that was the visual focus of worship and how Jesus inserted himself as the fulfilling light.

But in front of me were three students bent over. I thought at first it was in concentration, but then I saw a pair of ear-buds on one, a Sudoku book in the other’s lap, and an iPhone playing Scrabble in the others. They were not being distracting or rude, but totally checked out. They missed a sweet meal of gospel and hope. I don’t know them and don’t want anyone to get into trouble. It’s just that I noticed how if we are already checked on about something, we will miss whatever good thing is embedded there. If I am sure there is nothing good a Republican/Democrat/Tea Party person can say, I’m already checked out. If I refuse to pay attention to the flight attendants safety briefing, I’m checked out on where the exits are that could save my life. If I dismiss elderly or youngerly, I’m already checked out on the blessing they might bring to my life. I began to reflect on all the ways I check out on people before they say word one.

Lord, help me pay attention to the ways you want to speak to me and bless me!


At 2:17 PM , Blogger Isaac Johnson said...

I fight the urge to play with my phone in meetings / stand ups. I think our whole culture has ADD

At 4:43 PM , Blogger donnjohnson said...

That can be a part of it, in that we are so accustomed to the constant interruption of texts/voicemails etc that when we have a chunk of time to listen, we can't


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