“Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding.
– Proverbs 2:2

“Give me your eyes!” As coaches, how many times have we challenged our athletes with these words? With another practice in the books, we stand before our team to share our closing thoughts. As we begin to speak, we notice the heads drop and the eyes disappear. You think to yourself, this is important, are you listening? In athletics, communication is critical. It is vital that coaches and athletes are on the same page if they hope to be successful. I’m laughing a little, because I have also been called out on occasion by my amazing wife for the same shortcoming. I have been caught red-handed echoing back what she has said, without truly understanding what she was talking about. Through experience, I have learned that listening involves the whole body, not just the ears.

I love the story of Zacchaeus. Here was a guy who was locked in on Jesus with every part of his being. His goal was to see who Jesus was, so he climbed up a tree to get a better look. He was focused and attentive as he sat in that tree. Despite the obvious distractions that Jesus’ appearance must have created, Zacchaeus did not lose sight of his objective. Because he remained attentive, he was clearly able to hear Jesus call him by name and say, “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” Zacchaeus immediately became aware of his past sins. Because Zacchaeus was listening with his whole being, his life would never be the same. That encounter with Jesus changed his life forever. How might our own lives be changed if we would only give God our full attention?

Heavenly Father, I confess that I often fail to give You my full attention. Teach me to be still today so I can hear Your voice and receive Your full blessing. Amen.