“The simple act of paying attention can take you a long way” – Keanu Reeves
I enjoy teaching Sunday school at our church. Their eagerness to learn excites me. Although it takes a substantial effort to keep them engaged and active in class, I leave the class satisfied by the opportunity to invest in something that will last a lifetime.
Engagement and Interest
What helps to keep the kids in Sunday school engaged? Attention grabbers. Using a variety of visuals or activities, we intentionally capture their attention before teaching the lesson for the day. For example, when teaching the story of Noah and the Flood, an ideal attention grabber would be showing an assortment of animals and asking the kids to name each one. Alternatively, we could show different sizes of boats and ask the kids which one they think would be big enough to fit all the animals in the world.
Attention grabbers are also meant to garner interest in a particular topic and make the lesson unforgettable. In communication, including marketing, the goal is to capture the audience’s attention in the first few minutes and hold on to it for the duration of the presentation. Without this key piece of the communication puzzle in place, the audience can get lost and bored quickly.
Superseding the Mundane
What has grabbed your attention lately? Maybe it is something you saw on TV, social media, while driving, or riding the train or bus. On a recent flight my attention was captured by the aircraft’s ability to stay in the air for many hours. Upon further research, I learned airplanes operate in a higher law than the law of gravity. This is the law of aerodynamics. Both laws are in operation, but the plane’s construction and power overrides gravity when the law of aerodynamics is applied.
This superseding of one law by a greater law is synonymous with the power of attention grabbers in life. Attention grabbers carry the ability to supersede the gravitational pull of the mundane and take us on a mental adventure where what we experience changes our lives forever.
Just like a plane is an instrument to take us to a destination, an attention getter is a vehicle intended for the purpose of us to reach higher levels of life. Attention grabbers move us beyond the ordinary into the extraordinary where we discover not only things about ourselves but also about life. Attention grabbers open up the door of possibility where growth occurs, and opportunities await.
Attention in 3D
In a sermon titled, The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life, Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Life as it should be and life at its best is a life that is complete on all sides.” By all sides, he meant the length, breadth, and height which total the volume of life. These three areas ought to grab our attention daily.
The length represents the inward concern for personal welfare. In today’s terms, we call this self-care. For me, this shows in what I read, my self-talk, my eating habits, and exercising. I know that I am no good to anyone unless I prioritize self-care. It’s also about fulfilling your calling in life. Living a purpose-driven life is perhaps the highest calling of any human. Know your purpose and live it out.
The breadth represents the outward concern or care for others. Selfishness is the lowest form of living anyone can engage in. At the core of every act of evil resides selfishness. This is why relationships are a crucial part of life. Relationships are the gardens where we sow seeds of love, trust, hope, appreciation, encouragement. We are not self-dependent or self-sufficient. We all need relationships. They help to rid us of the toxicity that comes with being selfish. Every day, see yourself as a farmer with seeds of kindness, encouragement, and service ready to sow into the lives of others. We need more of this in our world. The greatest thing we can engage in is the care and service of others. The welfare of others boomerangs back to us in the form of a more fulfilling life.
The height is the upward reach for God. Man’s greatest need is not self-discovery but God-consciousness. We cannot deny the existence of God because evidence of His presence is everywhere. We can neglect Him, but He is there. In the midst of threatening calls to his house because of the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. King planted his faith in God. He said, “I do not know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future. And if He’ll guide us and hold our hand, we’ll go on in.” The existence of God is why we can remain confident about a future we are uncertain about.
This month, we will explore the concept of attention grabbers using the following viewpoints:
Taking A Mental Assessment (October 14)
Watch Who (Or What) You Copy (October 21)
Tension That Requires Attention (October 28)
Final Thought: Attention grabbers are everywhere, beckoning us to see that there is more to life. If the desire to live a 3D life grabs our attention, we will operate at the highest quality of life and soar into heights unknown like the plane that supersedes gravity. What has your attention?
Keep On Keeping On