When It's Important to Pay Attention

Taking a cue from her grandson’s basketball game, a grandmother’s insight about the advantage of listening to the coach.

Posted in , Feb 7, 2018

Paying attention

My husband and I went to our 5-year-old grandson’s basketball game. All those tiny athletes were adorable. Their lack of knowledge and expertise were clear as they ran without dribbling the ball, went down the court and shot at the wrong basket, and wandered aimlessly across the floor. Let’s just say it was highly entertaining.

But those basketball stars are four and five. It’s what we’d expect from them at this age. Their games are a great way for them to work off excess energy, learn to work together as a team and discover more about the sport of basketball.

With players this young, multiple coaches stay on the floor with them, literally moving them around to their proper positions—it works well until the children lose focus. Partway through the game, I heard my daughter-in-law calling out to her son, “Ethan, watch the coach. Listen to him.”

Immediately it was as if I heard a whisper in my heart, “That’s what you need to do to Me.” Oh my, that’s a lesson that has taken me years to learn—and there are still times I need a refresher course. 

I look back at so many instances in my life where I’ve taken my eyes off God, moments I’ve quit paying attention when He whispers to my soul. And those are the times when I’ve gotten into trouble, when I’ve paid the price—and often been hurt—by the wrong choices that I’ve made.

I suspect I’m not the only one who might need a refresher course from time to time, so here are some verses for all of us: 

Psalm 25:4 shares, “Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me.” He will teach us if we’ll let Him. 

In John 10:27, it says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them.” God doesn’t just give advice to us willy-nilly—He knows us. He knows what we need and He knows what we must learn.

Proverbs 19:20 tells us, “Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days.”

Having played basketball myself back in my teens, I know that if my young grandson watches the coach and listens, he will mature and learn to excel at basketball.

And if we will listen to our Coach, He will help us to mature spiritually and to excel at life so that we may be wiser in our latter days.

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