Paying Attention (Sermon Two)

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Sermon two in the series, “Living Abundantly: Christian Practices for Cultivating the Flourishing Life”

Important note: Before listening to this sermon, you are encouraged to watch this video, which is about selective attention. It will take about 90 seconds, and you may be surprised at your experience. Please record your reaction in the comments section below, but don’t read the comments before watching the video.

Evolution has caused our brains to be tuned toward what’s wrong. In many ways, it’s how we’ve survived as a species–is that a tiger rustling those branches? And yet, in many ways modern life is ill-suited for a negative attention bias. Is it possible that the quality of our life has to do with what we pay attention to? Does our Christian practice offer us some guidance as to how to direct our attention? Dr. Vamos explores a foundational practice of Christian faith, and of positive psychology: gratitude. How do we practice our attention not only on what’s wrong, but what’s right?

Philippians 4:8-9
The Rev. Dr. Jeffrey A. Vamos
September 23, 2018

2018-09-24T22:06:25+00:00September 18th, 2018|Highlighted, Sermon Audio, Sermons, Uncategorized|


  1. Louise Johnson September 20, 2018 at 8:06 am - Reply

    Not only did the “gotcha” get me, I only counted 12!

  2. Loraine Huchler September 20, 2018 at 9:49 am - Reply

    Yes, I counted 15 passes and yes, I noted that there was a gorilla.
    I noticed the gorilla but made a conscious decision not to let the gorilla or the activity of the black shirted people distract me from my task of counting the number of passes for the people with white shirts.

    Spoiler alert: I have always had a strong ability to observe details that others miss, and to focus, teaching my mind to disregard other inner and outer stimuli. During the last 10 years, I have found that my meditation practice has strengthened my ability to observe and focus.

  3. Michael McGeehan September 20, 2018 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    15 throws and a gorilla! Got it! I’m very observant, as I love to sit and watch people!

  4. Marcia September 20, 2018 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    Wow! Still can’t believe I didn’t see it!

  5. Bobbie Allegra September 20, 2018 at 10:37 pm - Reply

    Saw the gorilla but missed three passes. Not sure what that means??!

  6. Tom Gates September 20, 2018 at 11:55 pm - Reply

    I have seen this before, and yet I did not notice the gorilla again! Brilliant.

  7. Sandy Stein September 21, 2018 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    missed it completely

  8. Tina Koch September 21, 2018 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    I saw this years ago. When I saw it the first time, I counted the number of passes correctly, but completely missed the gorilla. I couldn’t believe that he stopped and turned to the camera and I completely missed it.

  9. Carrie September 22, 2018 at 7:56 am - Reply

    13, and yes, I saw him.

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