How God Gets Our Attention

God sometimes chooses the smallest of things to get our attention. Then he poignantly delivers his message.

Recently I sat on the deck of a rustic cabin early one morning overlooking a tranquil lake. I intended to spend time on my daily Bible study. The water was smooth as glass and a layer of fog hovered over the water encapsulating the solemn quiet of the morning. I opened my Bible to read.

Tap-tap-tap broke the silence. I glanced upward, then started reading again.


What IS that?

I peered deeper into the trees overlooking the deck. Nothing.

Tap-tap-tap. Pause. Knock-knock-knock.

Distracted, I stared upward into the trees, searching for the source. As I sat motionless, I squinted to finally see a small bird, gray in color, no larger than three inches in size, flit from one tree limb to another. Each time it landed, its beak tapped rhythmically until there was a pause as it flew to the next tree limb.

A woodpecker!

I chuckled. I don’t remember ever seeing one before. Maybe it’s because I don’t live in the woods, or they’re not prevalent in this area, or just maybe I don’t pay close enough attention.

I marveled as he worked. He was tiny, much smaller than I had thought a woodpecker would be, but that didn’t stop his work foraging for insects.

He was intentional. Methodical. Focused. I never finished my intended reading that morning.

At lunch with new friends, I mentioned my morning spent with the woodpecker. There’s always blessings and new insights when you spend time in conversation with Jesus-loving gals. These newfound friends were no different. When I mentioned how distracting and focused the woodpecker had been, one of my new friends quipped, “There’s a devotional for you right there, Monica. The woodpecker does his job well because God gave him one purpose. Maybe we should stop multi-tasking and focus on the purpose God gave us.”

In the words of my daughter’s generation, “Mic drop.”

I walked away from lunch deeply convicted. How did Kim know that multi-tasking choked me?

In search of success, I had committed to a multitude of service projects over the years. Clubs, committees, volunteer work for my daughter’s school, extracurricular activities, and our church. All fantastic projects with meritorious goals. Intent on proving my worth, I lived overcommitted days.

Over-commitment led to juggling the few free hours available each day. Packing as many things in each waking hour as possible forced multi-tasking.

Those years of multi-tasking didn’t lead to success. Instead, it led to frustration and feeling as if I failed at everything and failed everyone.

Multi-tasking blinded me from the blessings God gifted each day.

Multi-tasking resulted in getting tasks done, not doing them well.

As I walked alone after lunch that day, I determined to be like the woodpecker. For two years I had slowly been extracting myself from the volunteer work and committee meetings to participate in an online Christian writing course, but I was afraid to fully surrender to the writing God placed on my heart.

Like the woodpecker, God gave me a purpose. Unlike the woodpecker, though, I wasn’t intentional, methodical and focused on that purpose.

This summer I sensed God asking me to be laser-focused on my writing, but I failed to just sit down and write.

At creation our Designer formed a tiny woodpecker with a strong beak and a purpose. When I ignored God’s nudge, He chose one of His smallest creations–a tiny woodpecker– to get my attention and drive His message home to my heart.

Stop multi-tasking and focus on the purpose I designed for you.

That afternoon I committed to return home, laser-focused on writing the words God placed on my heart. I’ve discovered an overwhelming joy in this laser-focused obedience.

Friends, God designed you for a purpose, too. You can experience the joy of focused obedience.

Stop multi-tasking.

Like that tiny woodpecker, choose to focus on the purpose God designed just for you.

Hugs and blessings,