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By Network Chi Alpha Director/Presbyter, Pastor Sara Good
Septmeber 16, 2020

Backdraft [bak-draft,-drahft] noun:

when a fire is depleted of oxygen available in the room and then there is a sudden reintroduction of air and it causes it to become explosive.

Maybe you can relate, but as I engage in conversations with others around me, it seems as if the months from March on have sucked the air out of a lot of people. Have you ever felt like the wind has been knocked out of you? It’s not a fun feeling. This seems to be the general consensus of those around me, from neighbors, to students, the lady who cuts my hair, and the bank customer service representative I talked to on the phone. Everything going on in the world around us seems to compound a weight that simply is too much for most people to bear, especially if you don’t know the only source of Hope, Jesus. 

The good news is that God wants us, the people of His Kingdom who are filled with His mighty Spirit, to encounter these areas - the places in people’s hearts and minds that have been “depleted of oxygen” so to speak. He wants to breathe the fresh air of His Spirit through us into those spaces that can quickly turn into an explosion of Life for someone (a backdraft moment).

The Spirit of God knows every heart we will encounter today that is desperate for the breath of His Spirit. However, the challenge is our awareness.  Research shows, and I’m sure we would agree, that we are a distracted people. Many studies have shown that, overall, we fail to perceive very major things going on right in front of our eyes. If this is the case, then we certainly can fail to see the smaller, less noticeable, but very significant things.

Science has termed this as “inattentional blindness”. Inattentional blindness is being blind to anything we currently are not actively paying attention to. We can fail to see something right in front of our eyes, even if we’re looking right at it. Some of the research used a large dancing gorilla which most participants missed even with it dancing in front of their eyes because they were actively paying attention to something else. If we can miss a large dancing gorilla, how much more can we miss a downcast soul who needs some encouragement, a heart depleted of oxygen who needs a simple breath of Jesus’ life, a backdraft moment that the Lord desires to happen to awaken a heart to Him?

As leaders, I believe God desires to gift us with supernatural attentiveness. That we would be fully present and aware of the people around us and the environment we have stepped into. That not a single smart phone, social media feed, selfie, text message, phone call, to do list, or task at hand would cause inattentional blindness causing a missed opportunity for a backdraft moment in someone’s heart and spirit. Matthew 10:30 gives a glimpse of a God who is attentive to all. A God who sees way more than we do, down to the last detail of even numbering the hairs on our head. We should reflect this “attentive” quality of our God. I want to be purposeful in leading with greater awareness and attentiveness… Jesus, help me. In a very distracted world, Jesus help us. I am hopeful for explosive backdraft moments in people’s lives in Southern Idaho. There will be people who cross our paths, and their minds will echo, “wow, you noticed” and they will have an encounter with the Spirit of God who breathes life, simply because we noticed. Someone’s life might change for eternity today………. Simply because you noticed.