The Ultimate Importance of Being A Noticer

Did you see that? What was that sound, did you hear it? Did you notice…?

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Several weeks ago I was mowing my lawn. A routine task that almost every homeowner does regularly. It is also something that I love doing. While I have always loved mowing it is becoming increasingly difficult because of the complications of Fibromyalgia. That means a job that once took forty minutes now takes me an hour and a half or more to complete.

On this particular day it was extremely hot, so I had to take more breaks than usual. As I sat on my sunporch resting so I could complete the final leg of the task I took a peek at Facebook. That’s when I saw it.

A longtime friend from school days had posted these works to my news feed, “I waved to you while you were mowing this morning.”

If I had only looked up, I would have seen her as she walked by only 25 yards away. But instead my feet were the object of my focus and so I failed to notice her. I felt bad that I had failed to return her greeting.

Even worse, I had missed an opportunity not only to see an old friend, but I also missed the encouragement of her greeting.

Regrettably, this is isn’t the first time I have done something like this while mowing. Just last summer I had a similar experience. I sat down after finishing mowing and started glancing at Facebook. This time it was a photo my neighbor posted that stopped my scrolling. It was a picture of the Goodyear Blimp.

Yes, while I was busy gazing at my feet, the blimp had cruised right over my head just above the treetops. If only I have looked up.

It seems there is a pattern emerging here. As I read my friend’s post on my timeline, I couldn’t help but chuckle at what had just unfolded. I thought to myself, “If she only knew the irony of what I was talking to God about as her wave went unnoticed.”

You see, as a writer one of my primary jobs is to pay attention. Both to the world within me and what is happening around me. If I don’t only, will I be shallow but my writing will be empty and meaningless.

Normally I am fairly observant but I want to be more intentional about what’s going on, thus the conversation with God on this steamy summer day as I walked behind my mower.

Here I am, this person, the one who calls herself a writer. The one who just finished reading the book, “The Noticer” by Andy Andrews and started reading “Holy Noticing” by Charles Stone. Yes, this one who asked God to help her be a better noticer missed a friend waving to her just a stone’s throw away.

Funny, but not funny I thought as Mark 8:18 (NCV) came to mind. Jesus is talking to His disciples, and He says, “You have eyes, but you don’t really see. You have ears, but you don’t really listen. Remember when…”

I think the root of the problem for me is if I’m not intentional I lead a distracted life. So eager to get to the next better moment that I fail to notice the present one. So how do I run less on autopilot and live with greater awareness?

I talk a lot about being on a journey to discover and live our unique story. If we are to do that we must become noticers, holy noticers. But what exactly is a holy noticer?

In his book, the “Holy Noticer,”  Charles Stone defines it like this: “…noticing, with a holy purpose, God and His handiwork, our relationships and our inner world of thoughts and feelings.”

So what does that look like in my life? Well, according to Charles Stone, “This way of life involves three ways of looking: (1) looking in (at our thoughts, body states, and emotions), (2) looking out (at our relationships and our immediate environment), and (3) looking up (at our relationship with Jesus). We might even call this, ‘mindfullness‘ because ‘our being is filled with the presence of God.'”

Yes, this is how I want to live. But I have to be careful. There is an order to paying attention, to noticing with a holy purpose. I must look up and inward before I look outward. Otherwise, I may be more distracted than if I didn’t notice at all.

One way I’m putting this into practice is by spending time with Jesus before my feet hit the floor in the morning. I want Him to be the first thing I notice every day. Then as I walk through my day I activate noticing by asking, “What do you want me to pay attention to in this moment Jesus? What do you want to teach me?”

Did you see that? What was that sound, did you hear it? Did you notice…?

If you would like to dive deeper into being a noticer. I highly recommend two books to you. the first is: Holy Noticing by Charles Stone (affiliate link). The second is: “The Next Right Thing” by Emily P. Freeman (affiliate link). You also might enjoy “The Noticer” by Andy Andrews (affiliate link)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m a writer and storyteller. Each week I write about and invite readers to join me on an extraordinary adventure to discover and live the unique story God has penned for each of us.

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5 thoughts on “The Ultimate Importance of Being A Noticer

  1. I just finished a study on Psalm 23, and it talked about verse 6, “Surely, goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life…” The word for “follow” actually means to chase or pursue, and that we should be “caught” by them, always noticing the Shepherd’s goodness and mercy! <3

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