From my book, “FROG Blog, Learning on a Lily Pad.” Available on Amazon and Kindle.
ATTENDANCE DOESN’T ALWAYS EQUAL ATTENTION
A lady who shares my favorite walking route paused this morning to ask what I do as my profession. She promised herself that the next time she saw me walking, she’d gather the courage to stop wondering and ask me how I used my days. She explained that she was fascinated to hear my answer because she frequently sees me wearing comfortable but stylish dresses walking with a contemplative expression blended with peaceful thoughtfulness.
I thanked her for her detailed observation and caring enough to ask. When I told her I am an author, life coach, and editor, she exclaimed, “I wish I had interesting jobs like that before I retired from 45 years as a machinist.” It was my turn to be intrigued by how she interpreted her career and perceived mine. She said when she was in school, math was her least favorite subject, so she was surprised when she spent her life working in a precision-driven math-related field. She loves to read but all research jobs she wanted required post-high school education and she didn’t want to pursue continuing education.
I anticipated her reasons for not pursuing future certifications could be age or finance related. She explained that she had twelve years of perfect attendance but collectively probably less than a full year of perfect attentiveness. Schools physically housed this lady but mentally she created a homeless shelter for her attention status. She didn’t make excuses or hold regret for her lack of attention in formal classrooms. She simply appreciated how she was able to faithfully work as a machinist while being able to turn her detailed attention toward hands-on learning.
Attendance and attention. How often do I show up for morning quiet time physically attentive but spiritually and mentally absent? My Teacher is present, but His student daughter is lost in thought about what happened yesterday and what may happen today. He is my Lead Machinist and I’m tooling around talking shop in my own mind!
This lady was sensitive to pay attention to her walking route surroundings. Her alertness created accessibility between us that wasn’t originally detected. A familiar faced “stranger” left as a new acquaintance named Janice (and her dog Zoe) because we both paid attention to our surroundings. I was awakened by her inspirational lesson to pay attention to my Professor who is in continual attendance. I need His ongoing education no matter what profession I hold.
Teacher, please unite my attendance to my attention. Align my responsiveness with Your presence. Like Janice’s alertness, give me the courage to act upon my observations.
With heightened awareness, Christina