I often tell people that there’s a part of the absent minded professor in me. A lot of times, people don’t believe this because I’m super organized and quite the planner. However, I think somewhere along the way I learned these abilities as a coping skill. Left to my own devices, the remote control ends up in the refrigerator, the car keys are stored in a baseball cap, and I have a hard time seeing what’s right in front of me.
It’s the latter phenomenon that’s recently reminded me of how oblivious we can be to God. The situation was an inconsequential event; I looked into my shower like I do every day and for some reason noticed the useless, empty container for my razor. Now the container had been there for months, quite possibly years, and I don’t ever remember a time when I used it for its intended purpose. From what I can recall from the original promotional packaging, it was designed to hold the razor and extra blades. Instead of fulfilling its function, it was a useless bathroom accessory – a part of my daily routine and yet without impact or utility.
As I threw the neglected container away I realize that my blinders are not limited to the accoutrement of my shower. Just like I saw that container every day, I am daily reminded of the work that God is doing, and how I should be participating in it. There are opportunities to show people grace that I abandon. There are sins that entangle me that I ignore. There are needs I turn away from even though they plainly confront me. I neglect the work of God, not because its out of sight, but because I don’t perceive that I too have a function to fulfill. When I choose not to participate, I’m as useless as that forgotten container.
In the book of Matthew, Jesus said about his audience, “they will be ever seeing but not perceiving.” (Matthew 13:14). This was His explanation for why He spoke in parables, for if He spoke plainly, then His audience would be accountable accordingly; in His grace, knowing that they would forsake even the plainly presented truth, He chose to veil His meaning (In his book, Faith & Life, B.B. Warfield discusses this extensively in the chapter called “Light & Shining”). While this is dreadful enough, I fear that many time Christ’s revelation is plain, and yet we’re just as blind. Blind caused by our willfulness ignorance not for a lack of ability to see. Similarly, the container was there and I’m sure my eyes gazed over it, yet I did not perceive it. In the same way, God gives us the opportunity to be used by Him and we stand idly by, useless.
May our sight, and our perception increase ever more so that we do not throw away opportunities to serve His purpose.