Quick. Name five brands of soft drink. Name five car manufacturers. What are your favorite movie theaters? What chain restaurants do you prefer to frequent?
In marketing, top of mind awareness (TOMA) can be a powerful thing. If you consistently present your product as the one to have, chances are that presence will translate into increased sales over time. This is specifically true when it comes to impulse purchases. How many times have you been in line at the grocery store and the thought crosses your mind: “I need gum”? Do you have a brand you always go to? Do you reach for the Dentyne because it “helps keep your teeth clean“? Are you a Jimmy buffet fan and always go for the Juicy Fruit?
So much of what we do is determined on that on which we’re focused, and top of mind awareness contributes to that focus. As a dad, my kids occupy a lot of my TOMA. As a husband, I try to make it a point to not make decisions in a vacuum. My partnership with my wife occupies a lot of my TOMA.
As a Christ follower, it’s personally disheartening that I so often allow God to drop on the list of things about which I am focused. Work, kids, weekend plans, household chores, sports schedules, what I’m going to have for dinner: sometimes the awareness of my mind is anywhere but on God. It’s as if I sometimes have Christian amnesia. I can be totally focused and honed in on my relationship with God when I am in church, but at 1:00 on Thursday when I get cut off in traffic on my way back from lunch, I am standing on my horn and yelling obscenities to a complete stranger. It’s not so much hypocrisy as it is a lack of focus – a lack of self discipline – on keeping God at the forefront of my life.
In Spanish, the word ‘tomar’ means take. When you instruct someone to take something, the conjugation becomes toma. “Toma esto = Take this.”
As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take it, for this is my body.” – Mark 14:22 NLT
Jesus told us He is with us always. God sent us the Holy Spirit to be with us always. God’s grace and mercy is ours for the having, so long as we’re willing to receive it. So long as we’re able to focus on Him.
Whatever the circumstance, whatever the time, whatever the situation, the best thing we can do is keep God at the top of our awareness. When we start with Him, we can live in the confidence that is God’s love.