On Notice

On Wednesday night we had a Thanksgiving Eve service, and I gave a brief message on, you guessed it, thanksgiving!  Only it wasn’t entirely about thanking, but also about the steps in the process that lead to an expression of thanks.  I said then that there was too much to this process to fit into the time allotted, so I would discuss it further in a blog post (or a few).

And here we go.

The first step of the process—notice—often goes unnoticed itself, which is as sad as it is ironic.  We use the word, of course, but in different contexts.  When someone is “on notice,” for example, it means he or she has been warned; when someone is “beneath notice,” it means he or she has done something insignificant.

However, “notice” really means to pay attention to something or someone for a sustained period of time, and many of us find this almost impossible to do.  To notice in this way would require us to slow down, to focus, to ignore distractions—exactly what our ADD, three-seconds-is-too-long-to-wait world rushes us from.

You cannot notice in a hurry.  And hurry is one of the hallmarks of our lives.

But if we do not notice, we will not start the process of thanks, much less get to the end of it and actually thank someone.  We notice what is done wrong, of course, and condemn it; meanwhile, we overlook what is done right, and fail to commend it.

I don’t think that’s how God intends for us to live.  And on this Black Friday, poised to enter another Christmas season, through which we will gallop at a breakneck pace if we do not pull back on the reins of our personal reindeer, remembering what God intends for us to do with our time matters more than ever.

So now we are on notice.  And although we may fool ourselves into thinking so, what we do with this life He has given us is in no way beneath His notice.

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