Attention Span and Unexpected Joy

Before we get to the subject matter of the day, I find words, their history and meanings, interesting.  For example, I recently learned that the word “Prom” is short for promenade.

Promenade is defined as, “a paved public walk, typically one along a waterfront at a resort.”

We are thinking through elements of unexpected joy resulting from surprises.  The Jesus life, at first glance, could never produce joy.  Yet living the Jesus life is the most joyful expression of humanity.  The Jesus life produces unexpected joy.

In “Surprise: Embrace the Unpredictable and Engineer the Unexpected,” Tania Luna and Leeann Renninger expound upon the science of surprise.

  • Surprise: our reaction to unexpected and misexpected events. (Is it an emotion? A cognitive state? No one knows for sure. Surprise is mysterious like that.)
  • Schema (plural: schemata): a mental framework for understanding something.
  • Surprise sequence: Freeze, Find, Shift, Share (plug into the moment, get wildly curious, change your perspective, and talk about it with others).
  • Duh Face: the true facial expression of surprise (seemingly dopey, actually fully absorbed in the moment).

When our schema is interrupted, the surprise sequence (freeze, find, shift, share) commences.

Let’s introduce the concept of attention.

  1. Transient attention is instantaneous and involuntary.
  2. Sustained attention requires something consistently intriguing and continuously offering new perspectives.

Jesus’ birth and His call to live the Jesus life TOTALLY interrupts our natural schema.  Surprise!  Luke 2:1-21

The birth of Jesus and the celebration of His birth provides opportunity to focus (transient and sustained) on God and His love of relationship with you.

  • God created us for friendship, relationship, and fellowship with Him and each other.
  • The friendship, relationship, and fellowship was interrupted by sin.
  • Only God can restore the shattered relationship humanity.

Our relationship with God has been paralyzed by sin.  We can’t dance on God’s great dance floor because we are separated from God and paralyzed by sin. Broken friendship, shattered relationship, and fractured fellowship depict our relationship with God.  Until FATHER God steps in.

  • Restoring relationship with humanity required God to become human, thus the birth of Jesus, fully God and fully human.
  • Justice requires human penalty for human sin. Jesus, representing all humans, met the demands of justice by dying through Roman crucifixion.
  • In that moment, there is a dead God and the living Which wins?
  • Three days later, the Living God resurrects Jesus from the dead.
  • All human beings are now able to have eternal friendship, relationship, and fellowship with God and are invited to His eternal celebratory prom. Revelation 19:6-9

Can you imagine the HUGE sense of despair if you were not invited to God’s heavenly prom, called the Marriage Supper of the Lamb?

Our heavenly prom, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, will have more surprises than we can even imagine and the unexpected joy will be beyond measure.

InvitationSurprises. Unexpected joy.

Jesus’ birth, life, death, burial, and resurrection are God’s loving invitation for you to walk again and that walk is down the aisle with Father God at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

My favorite sentence of 2017, “I may be having a bad day, but I am having a day.”

2 Corinthians 6:2 states, “Today is the day of salvation.”

Place your trust in Jesus for salvation and you too will walk again now and then down the aisle of God’s great prom (a paved public walk, typically one along a waterfront at a resort}, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.