Keith Wishum: Getting your attention
Do you ever have difficulty getting someone to pay attention to you? If you have children, I’m sure you can relate. People are busy. There are so many distractions. It can be hard to get someone to really listen to you.
Jason Brannen wanted to make sure that he got Becki Giles’ attention. They had been dating, and Jason wanted to ask the big question. No, not the one about who gets the TV remote, the other big question. Jason wanted to ask Becki to marry him.
He wanted to get her attention. So, there it was. On a billboard in Macon, Georgia, Jason popped the question, “Becki Giles, will you marry me?”
God has also gone to great lengths to get our attention. No, he didn’t use billboards. Instead, he sent his son to get our attention.
Even with that, it hasn’t been easy to get us to notice. Even while Jesus was physically present, people were slow to take note. On one occasion, God used some Spielberg-like special effects to help. As Peter, James and John stood nearby, God caused Jesus to glow. Yes, that sounds weird, but that’s what it says – “his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light” (Matthew 17:2).
But that wasn’t all. God also somehow beamed in Moses and Elijah to stand by Jesus. And then, when the three spectators were fully paying attention, God spoke to them! Yes, God! I’m not making this up. He was talking directly to them. He finally had their undivided attention. Know what he told them?
“This is my son … Listen to him!” Not to Moses and Elijah. Not to the spectacle of a glowing face. Not even to the voice of God from a cloud. They were to pay attention to the man Jesus who had been with them all along. It was he to whom they needed desperately to pay attention, nothing else.
It still is. Things have changed little. We are still drawn to spectacles. We flock to the newest, latest phenomenon. Yet, God still says, “This is my son; listen to him.”
The Creator of the universe wants to help us succeed in life. He wants to make us happy and fulfilled. He longs to wrap us in love and give us life that lasts forever.
All of that comes from paying attention to his son.
Keith Wishum is minister, Williams Road Church of Christ, Americus.