Wow. Keeping a five-year old's attention is a chore. At least it is with our little dude. We've been trying different ways to help him listen to Good Dirt devotions. Sometimes I start making things up during the reading to see if he notices ("then Peter got on a motorcycle and started doing wheelies!") His sister thinks it's hilarious, but usually it goes over his head. One night we tried offering him M&M's if he could answer questions based on the reading. But mostly we just say stuff like "Are you paying attention?" "Stop squirming." "Get off of your sister!" "What did I just say?"
I figured it would get better after he got into the habit of daily devotions, but alas, three months in we're still dealing with distractions every night. Not unlike the dog from Up.
It's hard to help everyone keep focused night after night. I might have a better attention span than a kindergartener, but I'm not immune to distractions (case in point: I'm writing this blog post while watching the Olympics, texting and playing a game on my smartphone). In fact, I think the distractions are what have derailed our family devotions in the past. After the excitement of Advent and Christmas, we tend to run out of gas after a month or so--then we get distracted with other things and the habit slips away.
Epiphany is also called Ordinary time. Carolyn has been learning a lot lately about finding God in the ordinary, but doing that takes discipline to avoid distractions. Because the ordinary seems so--well, ordinary. It's easy to get caught up with distractions and miss the still-small voice. But God is patiently waiting to give us the gift of His presence if we'll put down the phone, turn off the TV and listen.
And stop chasing the squirrel.