The NFL’s final four teams play in the conference championship games on Sunday, and as sports fans, we are set up for an intriguing day of football.

The biggest story lines leading up to the games, and even throughout the regular season, have centered around the Patriots, Steelers, and Packers. The Falcons, on the other hand, have been flying under the radar – despite their 11-5 record and league-high 33.8 points per game.

Early on, the media and fans were caught up in discussing what was wrong with the Packers and Steelers, but now both teams are playing well and remaining in the spotlight while receiving tons of acknowledgment for turning it around.

The Patriots are always in the sports conversation because of their success, and Tom Brady’s suspension added an extra layer of interest to their season.

The bottom line is, the Falcons have gotten lost in the discussion and have taken a backseat to the other three teams still alive. However, not paying closer attention to this impressive team who has one of the top quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers in the NFL is probably a mistake.

The Falcons have a coach with Super Bowl experience and a defense that has come on strong. Although they’ve been overlooked, underrated and underappreciated by most of the football world, we shouldn’t be surprised they are playing in the conference championship game on Sunday with the chance at making it to the Super Bowl.

Whether in sports or life, it’s easy to get caught up in one thing while missing something else. This happens when we focus on our jobs or watching our favorite teams at the expense of paying attention to our families…or when we’re more concerned about our own problems and issues, instead of being concerned with what others are going through.

More importantly, we don’t always stay in tune to what God is doing in us and through us. But as followers of Jesus, we must pay attention to what He’s revealing through His Word and everything around us. When we stay alert each day, we can hear what He’s telling our hearts and minds through the Holy Spirit.

The Bible encourages us in Hebrews 2:1 (AMP) –For this reason [that is, because of God’s final revelation in His Son Jesus and because of Jesus’ superiority to the angels] we must pay much closer attention than ever to the things that we have heard, so that we do not [in any way] drift away from truth.”

Today, let’s be aware of God’s presence and truth. Let’s pay close attention to everything He’s revealed through Jesus…and recognize all that He wants to continue to show us. I’m Bryce Johnson and you canunpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I know too often I get distracted and caught up in the wrong things and don’t pay attention to what You’re saying or doing. I pray I would have a heart that is centered on You and what You’ve revealed through scripture. Please help me to pay attention to what’s most important, and forgive me for the things I’ve missed. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.