You’d think a gorilla would be hard to miss. Turns out it’s easier than you think:
So you think you’d see the gorilla? Did you happen to notice the two times Daniel Simons walked by the gorilla during the opening sequence?
Inattentional blindness fascinates me because I know I’m prone to it. One day I was waiting for my husband to come home and take over munchkin duty so I could go to Bible study. I put the kids down for their nap, then went to the bathroom to fix my makeup and sat down to wait. He didn’t show up. I got annoyed. He still didn’t show up. I fumed. Finally, I punched his cell number into the phone.
“Hello?” he said.
“Where. Are. You.” I demanded gracefully. Well, as gracefully as possible when steam is coming out of your ears.
He paused. “Um. . . . in the bedroom”
“I’ve been waiting for you and you’re late and—you’re where?”
“In the bedroom. I came in while you were rocking the baby and came back here to read. You walked right by me a few minutes ago.”
“Oh. Um. Never mind. Sorry.”
Yes, I walked right by my own husband without seeing him. I didn’t think he was there, so I didn’t see him. That’s inattentional blindness at work, folks.
What if we treat God that way? What if God is at work all around us every day, blessing us and working to expand his kingdom, but we miss it because we aren’t looking for him?
One of the prayers Paul prayed for the Ephesian church was that “the eyes of your heart might be enlightened” (Ephesians 1:18). Paul was praying that God would enhance their spiritual vision and illuminate their hearts so that they would see and understand how God is working around them. This is necessary so that “you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe” (Ephesians 1:18-19). Hope. Glory. Power. Lord, enlighten my heart so that I may see you.
Sometimes we miss what God is doing because we aren’t looking for him. Our urgent world demands our attention, and we don’t see the gorilla right in front of us. Your boss wants the report yesterday, your child needs to make a paper mache volcano for the science fair tomorrow, and you ran out of milk three days ago. E-mail is blinking, your cell phone is chirping, and the news has a info reel running across the bottom of the screen. When our lives are filled with noise and activity, the still small voice of God gets drowned out too easily.
Yet when we look for God, we see him. In those sacred moments when the house is quiet beforethe children wake up, we hear his voice. Something in you co-worker’s voice tells you she’s not really fineand you pause to find out why. You stop to listen to your child–really listen–and realize the prayers you’ve been praying for him are being answered before your eyes. You look around at your family over the dinner tableand your heart overflows with thanksgiving. When your heart breaks over the world’s need, you realize that God wants to do something about itand you get to help. God sneaks into thoughts when you’re doing the dishes and folding laundry and tucking drowsy children into bed. Later, you slip away for a moment of quiet. You hear God’s voice, and it’s familiar because it’s the background music you danced to all day. Your heart is enlightened, and you see. He was there all along.
So this is my prayer for you: that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you may see and understand and rejoice in all that God is doing around you. Don’t miss him.
Where have you seen God today?
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