Omnivorous Attentiveness

I just learned that phrase in Pastor John’s talk about C.S. Lewis at the recent DG Pastor’s Conference. This is what he means by omnivorous attentiveness:

“To wake up in the morning and to be aware of the firmness of the mattress, the warmth of the sun’s rays, the sound of the clock ticking, the coldness of the wooden floor, the wetness of the water in the sink, the sheer being of things (quiddity as he called it). And not just to be aware but to wonder. To be amazed that the water is wet. It did not have to be wet. If there were no such thing as water, and one day some one showed it to you, you would simply be astonished.”

When I was taking anatomy and physiology I learned so many incredible things about the human body – one of which was a chemical or neurotransmitter (I can’t remember) that basically prevents people from going crazy due to over-stimulation. If we were constantly aware of all the stimuli bombarding our bodies, we would all go crazy. Think about it – consider what your eyes see right now, including in the periphery. Now feel the air enter your body and your lungs expand as you breathe. What are your fingers and toes touching? How does it feel to be sitting on whatever kind of surface you’re sitting on? Did you notice the feel of your clothes against your skin?

And on and on the list could go. God gave us the ability to feel all of these things as well as the ability to not feel them all at once and go crazy. But it is good to be aware – to be omnivorously attentive to all of these things…and then to “ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name” (Ps. 29:2) for all of his good gifts.

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2 responses to “Omnivorous Attentiveness

  1. Umm… This is good. Thanks. I'd like to know that name of that nerve that blocks all bombardments of senses–if you ever come across it.David.

  2. When I first read "Omnivorous Attentiveness" I thought it was being aware of meats and veggies…

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