Authored by Tony Horsfall
Attentive to God – Being Aware of God’s Presence in Daily Life is written by Tony Horsfall and, as the title suggests, is written to help readers grow in their awareness of God in their everyday lives. Each chapter of the book is based on the story of a biblical character and their encounter with God. From it, Horsfall highlights a particular element in the encounter that enabled the individual to hear from God. This is followed by key learning points about the actions of the character and how we can apply it to our personal lives. Each chapter rounds up with a spiritual practice—a practical way for readers to have a go at what has been taught in the chapter. In this way, Horsfall has seamlessly bridged biblical stories of old with the experiences of today, enabling readers to see that they too can encounter God for themselves.
Horsfall writes almost as if he is in conversation with the reader, as he shares relatable and genuine thoughts on the issue while remaining consistently rooted in biblical truths in his explanations. From start to end, Horsfall reinforces that anyone can build their spiritual awareness as long as we have a desire for it. As he details in each chapter, God wants to commune with us and He speaks to us in a multitude of ways, such as visions, dreams, the wonder of creation and, of course, with the help of the Holy Spirit. This can only happen if we would be more conscious about taking a step back, being in the right posture, and allowing God to speak. Horsfall points out the many everyday things that are vying for our attention, potentially deterring us from being more attentive to God. He recognizes the struggle but also emphasizes the need for us to identify and address these distractions so we can then tune in to God with greater clarity. In so doing, he convincingly presents to us readers that when we grow in attentiveness to God’s presence, we can look forward to a greater depth and intimacy in our relationship with Him.
The book is intended to be read as a daily devotional of sorts where each section within a chapter is crafted in a bite-sized manner and Horsfall suggests reading this over a month. This encourages readers to include the reading in their everyday routine—consistently growing in our understanding of God’s desire for us to tune into Him and then practising it with the accompanying spiritual practices. Moreover, Attentive to God can also be read in a group, with discussion questions included to allow for a meaningful exchange of thoughts and ideas which would surely enhance one’s learning and understanding of the text.
I benefitted tremendously from the reflection questions that concluded every section of each chapter. The questions allowed me to review what I had read and then think about what it means to me in my journey of becoming more attentive to God. It has also enabled me to recall (long) past encounters with God. Taking time to reflect on these questions has been a great source of encouragement for me to continue pressing in and seeking God with the new things that I have learnt from the book.
Overall, Attentive to God is a wonderful read that is accessible to anyone who picks it up. It is, however, important to note that the book is not intended to be a quick read. Horsfall designed the book to be one that is digested slowly, allowing readers to chew on what is written so that we come to learn “what it means to see with our eyes, to hear with our ears, and to have our minds open to understand”.
You can view a sample of Attentive to God – Being Aware of God’s Presence in Daily Life here.
This review is written by Yeo Tze Xin, who is fresh to the world of adulting and is slowly but surely trying to make sense of everything she’s taking in. So far, spending such long hours in front of her work laptop has taught her to better appreciate the beauty of nature and the outdoors.