You might not be noticing everything you can.
Recently, I’ve made the dual commitments of noticing and presence. More than a few friends have mentioned to me that I have a knack for checking my phone. More than a knack, an obsession. I tell myself that I need to be dialed-in because I communicate through e-mail and facebook; I try to stay engaged to news and information through Twitter, and of course, there’s this blog. What’s more, I keep my calendar and to-do’s on my phone. Therefore, in order to function, I have to look at my phone. While I think I’m staying connected to what makes my world function others interpret my frequent checking as distance and disinterest.
And they’re not wrong.
Multiple times I’ve been at lunches or dinner wherein others did what I’ve been accused of and it drives me nuts. So, I made a decision to notice things and be present to others. In an attempt to notice, I’ve taken up photography.
This is what I’m learning.
- Beautiful Things Are All Around. Now that I’m looking for things to take pictures if – merely for the sake of learning my camera (Nikon D3100 14.2MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens) – I’m seeing things that I never would have otherwise noticed. Walking around Kingwood, TX this weekend, I was reminded of David’s question in Psalm 8, “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” Our world is crawling with everyday beauty, testaments to God’s creativity and goodness, but we hardly ever notice.
- Noticing Takes Time. In my iPhone, Evernote, iPad world, the main thing I’m trying to do is streamline; to get more done faster. It’s hard to notice that way. Like many leaders, I’ve been constantly encouraged to produce. Production and noticing have a strange relationship. They are not necessarily opposed but they do enjoy a healthy tension. The more that needs to be produce, the less the smaller things get notice. Therefore, you have to go out of your way to notice. If you’re a high-achiever, it’s likely that you struggle with noticing. But if you were to read through the ministry of Jesus, you’d notice he does a lot of noticing. He is free to be distracted by people, to put the daily task aside to be present to the needs and people in front of him.
So, how about you? Are you in too much of a rush to notice? Do the people around you notice you not noticing them?