A few years ago, I was with some friends listening to a speaker at the Nashville Chapter Grammy Block Party when I heard a nearby door squeak open and closed. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a taller blonde who slipped in with a friend. You never know who’ll show up at these types of industry events, so naturally I glanced again to see if it was anyone recognizable. Sure enough it was.
I nudged my friend and whisper-shouted — you know, like a four-year-old that doesn’t really understand the concept of whispering yet — “That’s! Taylor! Swift!”
I quickly surveyed the room to see if anyone else noticed she was there. Most people were completely oblivious. The room was so focused on the person on stage that they missed the fact that one of the biggest names in the industry had stepped into the room.
I was keenly aware. In fact, at an event like this I was anticipating it! I was determined to get her attention. A moment of subtle applause interrupted the speech … that was my moment!
With pro-level comedic timing, I shouted out the cultural adage of the day — “Turn up!” — and immediately looked back at Taylor. She noticed. She and her friend laughed as they looked in my direction. I approached her as soon as the speaker wrapped up, and we chatted and got a few photos together. It was a pretty cool moment for her. Ha! Well, and me, too.
Later on, I was mulling over that moment at the Grammy party and I realized something profound, at least to me. “Awareness determines access.” In this particular scenario, because I was aware that [Taylor] was at the party, I had access to her. While others carried on in typical conversations, eating expensive cheeses, and sipping Sprite, I was connecting with a musical icon.
This situation taught me something valuable about my relationship with God, worship, and His divine presence in my life.
My awareness of His presence determines my access to Him.
This proves to be true in scripture. Check out what the Bible says about Jacob in Genesis 28:16: “Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely the LORD is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it!’
Jacob was asleep with the Lord in His midst.
We tell ourselves that if Jesus walked into the room, surely we couldn’t help but notice. But the truth is, we miss Him everyday. Perhaps, like Jacob, we’re spiritually asleep, going through the motions, but numb to the miracle of His presence happening in our midst day after day.
We need the awareness of blind Bartimaeus, who even without sight could sense that the healer was close. His awareness gave him access to seeing a world in vivid color for the first time. We need the awareness of the woman with the issue of blood that knew Jesus was walking past her house. Her awareness gave her access to the healing she’d been seeking for over a decade. We need the awareness of Jarius, who gave his daughter life, even from a distance.
Do you see the theme of the miraculous throughout scripture? It starts with someone realizing that something bigger than them is close. More and more, the cry of my heart is becoming, “Lord, make me more aware of you.” The truth is that He is present — at the office, in the car, at the kitchen table, everywhere, right now. With God, we never have an attendance problem; we typically have an attention problem.
Could it be that we are so rich in activity that we are bankrupt in attention? Are we so consumed with our priorities that we are missing God’s presence because we cannot engage with whom we do not acknowledge?
The beautiful reality is that we serve a God who wants our attention. He desires communion and a relationship with you, that you may be fulfilled and satisfied in Him.
God. Wants. You.
He’s in this moment right now. Are you aware of Him? Let us live with the expectation of His presence, because the reality that God is here, now, makes anything possible. “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
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Tauren Wells’ website: taurenwells.com