SLD ResourcesSpiritual Life Development

The Attentive Life


The Attentive Life-Discovering God’s Presence in All Things   By: Leighton Ford

“Each of us is part of a Greater Story, and behind our stories is a Storyteller calling us home. The deepest longing I have is to come home to my own heart. . .I believe all our stories are of longing and of looking.”

 We live life at such a break-neck speed we are often inattentive to the Lord’s speaking to us at any given moment of the day. Spiritual inattentiveness comes in large part from our fear of being known for who we really are. Often we keep ourselves busy and distracted because we fear that if we slow down and are still, we may look inside and find nothing there.

Author Leighton Ford presumes that we spend the first half of our lives discovering the longing of our heart. This journey can be a long one and take us to all kinds of places. Many of the destinations lead to emptiness and deeper longing. Ford believes the second half of our lives encompass looking. We come to terms with what is really important to us and the development of our soul and are able to bring our real selves before the Lord in absolute attentiveness.

Each of us is called to a life patterned by Christ. A life not shaped by inner compulsions or captive to outer expectations, but drawn by the inner voice of love. To listen to this voice, we need to pay careful attention to where our inner and outer selves disconnect and where they need to come together in a beautiful pattern that reflects Jesus, whose inner life with His Father and outer life of ministry to others were very much one.

To walk this path home, and to be a companion to others on the journey, I need to learn both to be still and to go (or grow) deeper. . . I do realize that this life stage requires not so much doing for God as paying attention to what God is doing.

Ford not only writes from his own experiences of practicing a more attentive life, but he shares the classic writings on the subject by authors such as C.S. Lewis, Simone Weil, Søren Kierkegaard, Mother Teresa, and Henri Nouwen.

This book is about attentiveness, not simply as a path to self-fulfillment but as the very essence of our journey to the Center – as a way home to our own heart, the way of making our heart a home for God.