The Art of Not Paying Attention

Not paying attention is a vital skill, if you happen to be right and everyone who tells you otherwise isn't.

| January/February 1968

  • not-paying-attention-Vivian-Seefeld-Fotolia.jpg
    This is what not paying attention can feel like sometimes.

  • not-paying-attention-Vivian-Seefeld-Fotolia.jpg

"But Jesus paid no attention to what they said." Mark 5:36.

Not paying attention has never been considered a virtue. It has been the downfall of many a student. But Jesus was constantly not paying attention. There are many who say the way to win is to be a "go-getter," but Jesus said, "The meek shall inherit the earth." Many have said the sword is the way to power, but Jesus said, "He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword." Many warned Him of the cross, but Jesus faced it and said, "I will draw all men unto me." Jesus had the fine art of paying no attention to vices that would get him off the straight path.

Our story illustrates this principal of Jesus. Jairus came to Him with a perplexing question. He tells Jesus that his little daughter is ill unto death and there is hope if Jesus comes immediately. And Jesus starts immediately.

But there is an interruption. Jesus stops to deal with a needy woman who has touched Him, and Jesus is so leisurely about it that Jairus becomes almost frantic. Then what Jairus feared, happened. Messengers came saying the girl was dead. These messengers seemed delighted in bringing bad news. Lots of people delight in doing just that. They said, "Why bother the master further." But the fatal news had no effect on Jesus. He paid no attention. He acted as though they had never spoken. He never stopped until he had changed death into life.

A good lesson in this story is that when we set out on a high quest, we may count on meeting with prophets of disaster. Abraham found that out. Moses had his trouble in the matter. Columbus met all the opposition. No one undertakes anything of significance without someone trying to discourage it.

What are we to do about that? We can hear them if we desire. If we do, we will either become half-hearted or quit altogether. There isn't anything so devastating as half-heartedness. A man said "The devil has my church, therefore I'm not going anymore." A good saint of the same church said to him, "He may have your pew. I never see you in it, but he hasn't mine yet." The trouble with the quitter was, he had not the fine art of not paying attention.


Gas Engine Magazine A_M 16Gas Engine Magazine is your best source for tractor and stationary gas engine information.  Subscribe and connect with more than 23,000 other gas engine collectors and build your knowledge, share your passion and search for parts, in the publication written by and for gas engine enthusiasts! Gas Engine Magazine brings you: restoration stories, company histories, and technical advice. Plus our Flywheel Forum column helps answer your engine inquiries!

Be sure to take advantage of the Square Deal Subscription Program.

  • No Missed Issues.

  • No Renewal Notices.

  • No Additional Cost.

The Square Deal Subscription Program is designed as a paperless transaction with automatic renewals at a preferred low rate.   With advanced electronic notification, a 100% satisfaction guarantee and an easy opt-out plan, the Square Deal Subscription Program is the best value, risk free, eco-friendliest way to subscribe.

Facebook YouTube


click me