I want you to get this. Yes, you. This is the sentiment from the angel that appeared to Ezekiel in a vision of God regarding the intricate details for building the new temple and new city. Chapter 40:3-4 NKJV says, He took me there, and behold, there was a man whose appearance was like the appearance of bronze. He had a line of flax and a measuring rod in his hand, and he stood in the gateway. And the man said to me, “Son of man, look with your eyes and hear with your ears, and fix your mind on everything I show you; for you were brought here so that I might show them to you. Declare to the house of Israel everything you see.” Chapters forty through forty-eight chronicle the widths, cubits, gateways, outer and inner courts, altar, charges of keeping feasts and manner of worship, divisions of land, and much more. Reading through it is mind boggling at best.
Memory was of utmost importance here. This is why the angel was adamant that Ezekiel be FULLY ENGAGED in attending to what was being said to him. Three key principles were necessary. First, he needed to look with his eyes. Our eyes are connected to our brain through the optic nerve, a cable-like grouping of nerve fibers where visual information is transferred. This information is then stored in the brain for recall, much like a computer stores data. Second, Ezekiel was instructed to hear with his ears. Our ears also are connected to the brain via the auditory nerve that connects the cochlea of the inner ear directly to the auditory cortex where sound is processed. Lastly, the angel tells Ezekiel to fix his mind on everything being shown to him. Because the brain is the central processing unit in our bodies, it plays a major role in translating the content of our minds (our thoughts, feelings, attitudes, beliefs, memories, and imagination) into circuitous patterns of nerve cell firing and chemical release. What was to be recorded and recollected would require the eyes, ears, and mind to be in attendance with the highest form of acuity.
How does this translate for us? I dare say that most of us are not wholly present in our situations. We have continual distractions vying to steal the attention that should be placed on who or what is in front of us. As I drive, it is comical and yet sorrowful to see a vast majority of people gazing at their phones taking that all important look at a stoplight. Toddlers are given tablets in grocery stores and restaurants to keep them quiet. They learn at a very early age that digital “communication” is a method of choice. Checking texts and social media several times a day to see if anyone connected with you is commonplace. Conversations with others are becoming few and far between. And when we do actually stop to talk with someone, our minds race ahead to respond rather than truly listening to what is being said. Constant stimuli are projected onto our eyes, ears, and minds. No wonder we have difficulty remembering the simplest things. We are not FULLY ENGAGED. Missed opportunities for memories, deepened relationships, and personal growth are thwarted when we allow intrusions to rob precious time from us. The Bible says that the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. What is he using against you? I know my phone has been both a blessing and a curse. I have had to take serious inventory of how I am responsible for allowing it as a means to do foolish things. It’s ill-fated use has hurt those I love by making them feel unheard and insignificant.
Take the words of the angel and insert your own name into the command. “And the man said to ___, Son of man, look with your eyes and hear with your ears, and fix your mind on everything I show you, ___.” God has a best for each and every one of us. We will settle for less if we are not FULLY ENGAGED. Just as God had comprehensive directives for Ezekiel, He has mandates and wisdom, a blueprint with specific measurements for your life. Let your brain record each detail that may be recalled with precision to lead the promised abundant life. Commit to be FULLY ENGAGED.