Often times writers try to capture their reader’s attention through clever wordplay, catchy subjects, and other gimmicks. I suspect not a few would see this subject and muse to themselves that Fr. Alexander is really reaching this time!
Allow me to explain…
This evening my son taught me a valuable lesson. He helped me to realize the importance of focus and attentiveness during prayer. So what does a cellphone have to do with prayer, some may ask. Well, a metaphor or parable can be an incredible instructive tool.
As my son was saying his evening prayers, I noticed that he was a bit distracted with the Lego project he is working on. It made realize how important attentiveness is. So, I tried to find a contemporary example that I could use with him to help him understand.
How many times have we been engaged in a conversation with someone when all of a sudden, you hear that blllliiiiiiing alerting the owner that they just received a text message, a new email, or even a new phone call. Isn’t it annoying when our conversation is interrupted? Don’t we feel like we are not valued? Sure, we all have been on the other side of this tale, asking our acquaintance to standy, hold on, wait while we "take this call". So, you say, but what does this have to do with prayer?
DISTRACTION! Pure and simple. How little value we feel when we are speaking to someone who is distracted. Don’t we feel like the person believes that we are less important than what is going on with their cellphone/smartphone? Are we guilty of this with our Lord? When we pray, are we easily distracted? Do other things take precedence? If our communication with God is interrupted, are we truly gaining anything? Wherever our thoughts are during prayer, this is where our heart is. .
A prayer that is wrought with distraction is a wasted opportunity! When we love someone with all of our heart, we eagerly await the next time we will see that person or the next time we speak with them! Let us seek after our Lord will all of our attention, with all of our heart, with all of our might!