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How We Miss What’s Right In Front Of Us

February 16, 2022
Tracey and Mike standing back to back on a side street with a yellow tree in the background and yellow leaves scattered on the ground
Tracey and Mike

I’ve heard it said “You become what you focus on” and “Your life will go in the direction of your thoughts.”

But what if we’re focused on the right thing but looking through a distorted lens?

Mike and I saw this video and were amazed by what it revealed to us. It made us ask a bigger question: How much do we miss what’s right in front of our eyes?

When Jesus was born to Mary and lived on this earth for 33 years, people were looking and hoping for the Messiah, the anointed one who would deliver them from bondage.

The Pharisees were the most religious and studied in the Hebrew Scriptures. They were the synagogue leaders whose strict observations of the Jewish laws and their own interpretations and traditions became the basis for Rabbinical Judaism. If anybody was going to spot the Messiah when he showed up, it would surely be the Pharisees. And yet… there was Jesus: God in the flesh, right there among them, the One they were waiting for. They missed it.

It’s humbling to think how much we could miss that’s right in front of our eyes. Can we detect and discern good from evil? What if we have the wrong focus, or the lens we’re looking through is dirty, tainted, skewed? What if what we’re looking for doesn’t come in the package we were expecting? The Pharisees were looking for a great and mighty king who would secure a military victory over their oppressors. Jesus, riding into Jerusalem on a colt, gentle and lowly, was WHO they were looking for, but not WHAT they were expecting. They missed the glory of God right in front of their eyes.

Have a look at this fascinating video and see what you notice.

And maybe you’ll want to join us as we pray today, “Lord, give us fresh eyes to see what we’ve been missing.”

Best Illusion of the Year Contest – 2021 Michael A. Cohen – “The Changing Room Illusion”
Institution: Amherst College/MIT Country: USA
Author description: The Changing Room Illusion is an example of “graduate change blindness,” a phenomenon in which observers are unable to notice changes to the world around them when those changes occur gradually. In virtually all prior cases, gradual change blindness is studied by changing individual objects (e.g., a chimney disappearing or a facial expression shifting). While trying to prepare a novel example of this phenomenon for students, I realized that I could change dozens of items change without observers noticing. Overall, this illusion highlights how people may actually perceive and remember far more of the world around them than they intuitively realize.

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