You have My Undivided Attention by Chase Butler
By Chase Butler
MP3 Teaching Download
By Jeremy Lopez
I was meeting with someone last week who noticed my ring and asked how long I had been married. "Marriage is grand," he said, "and divorce is five hundred grand." You could feel the tragedy even through the joke. I laughed somewhat nervously and paused to let him elaborate. Just behind the humor was an obvious sadness.
A few days later another person told me about his childhood and the pain he felt from being made fun of for being overweight. In the brief time we were together he told the whole story from elementary school to today. As an overweight kid he dreaded shopping for clothes because nothing fit. To this day he won't even step foot into a clothing store because of the deep scars from the criticism about his body.
The reality is that everyone has something they're dealing with, from issues as simple as a stressful day at work to travesties as heavy as losing a child. Since last week's post, I've made it a point to try to listen well, and to no surprise, people have opened up about what's weighing them down.
I want to be brief but pointed today, because we desperately need the reminder...
Every single person is waging a war we are oblivious to. Our unexpected, simple act of kindness in the form of a listening ear could be the turning point for a wearied soul. It's not coincidence that Jesus said loving your neighbor (everyone you come into contact with) is second only to loving God.
I think the greatest challenge we face today, right this moment, is distraction. And our greatest opportunity is undivided attention to the things God has called us to--intimate, genuine, loving relationships with the real people sitting across from us.
So pay attention today. Someone needs you.
Do you know those phone calls you dread to receive? The person on the other end tells you your worst fear has come true, your loved one has passed, your company is shutting the doors. A pit opens in your stomach, and you feel yourself falling into the black hole of despair. I will never forget one of the stupidest things I did as a teenager that resulted in my parents receiving one of those phone calls. "Mr. Butler, this is the Hoover Police [long, unnecessary pause for dramatic effect]. I have your son, Chase, here with me now."
I tend to write three types of blogs. One, I fulfill my weekly commitment and offer an observation and lesson. Two, I actually hit a nerve but make sure the points are general enough to not be too personal. Three, I cut right to the core with less regard to social expectations. The third normally stays saved in the drafts. I know this about myself because I have an iPhone full of notes I've never shared. Many get deleted. Few get posted. Why? Because I'm afraid if I post the ones I wrote therapeutically, with no regards to audience or perception, it would be too much. It would fall outside the bounds of what you expect.
When I was little I told my parents I wanted to be a "chireman." I couldn't say "fireman" at the time, but that wasn't going to stop me from saving people from burning buildings. Then it was Batman. Then it was a full-time musician. I'm none of those things now (though I'm still working on the Batman part), and that's totally okay. It's okay that you aren't doing what you dreamed you would be doing.