Connect the Dots

Sometimes I just don’t pay attention.
For instance, I’ll be riding along in the car with my husband, and he’ll comment on something we’ve just passed by. I could have been looking in that very direction and still I have no comment in response, because I wasn’t paying attention. I missed it completely. That’s just how I am in my everyday life. (I’m not that way at work. There I pay attention. I’m a nurse, so that’s a good thing, I suppose.)
I’m not alone in not paying attention and missing out. Recently my daughter and I had to run by Publix for a few things. As I was driving slowly through the parking lot searching for a parking space, we watched as a woman walked toward us. She was walking down the center of the isle right for the front of our van. Only she didn’t know it. She was looking down, and lost in thought. I slowed the van to a stop, and we watched her approach.
I was a little unsure as to what to do. I mean, I didn’t want to scare her by honking my horn, but in a matter of feet she was going to walk right into the front of our van. My daughter and I found this incredibly funny. Just in the knick of time she looked up, and was startled to see us there. The look on her face was priceless. Once she recovered, she found it funny, too. She waived us off, and shook her head as if to say, “There I go, not paying attention, again.”
How often do we walk around starring at the ground or lost in thought and not notice people around us?
I’m guilty pretty often. I mentioned in my last post that we are to plant seeds in the lives of those around us in hopes that people will come to a relationship with Jesus one day. How can we effectively do that if we aren’t paying attention? And if we aren’t paying attention, how can we successfully connect the dots regarding what’s going on right in front of us?
We get so caught up in our own situations, or thinking about where we are supposed to be in the next thirty minutes, we are oblivious to situations right in front of us. For example, this situation comes to my mind often as a reminder to be paying attention and connecting the dots all the time.
Several years ago, I was in Chick-fil-a, and ordering next to a young man who, by the looks of his clothing, worked at the Target store across the parking lot. I heard him ask the price of a sandwich, and then heard him order a kid’s meal instead. He counted out his money to the cashier, (all in change) and took his kid’s meal out the door.
It was not until he was gone that it hit me.
He wanted a sandwich, but didn’t have enough money to buy it. He was a teenage boy, and there was no way a kid’s meal was going to fill him up. I missed out on an opportunity to show the love of Christ to that young man by buying him a proper meal, all because I wasn’t paying attention, and connecting the dots!
Since that day, I have tried harder to pay attention. I have tried to sum up a situation in front of me, and connect the dots. Is there a way I can help? Is this an opportunity to further the Kingdom? I don’t want those opportunities to share the love of God to pass me by again. My prayer has been that I may have eyes to see, and the good sense to put the pieces together quickly enough to touch the life in front of me. Quickly enough to buy a kid a Chick-fil-a sandwich if need be.

2 thoughts on “Connect the Dots

  1. There is something about the thought of a working, teenage boy HUNGRY and settling for a kids meal that made me cry.  Stacey, I will have more open eyes today because of this reminder!  By the way, may have missed THAT opportunity, but my life has been blessed by you over and over again when you stopped and ministered to me.  LOVE YOU

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