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TONY ELDER: Beware of spiritual blindness leading us away from God

One day recently I received quite a shock as I exited a local grocery store. When I walked over toward the area where I thought I had left my car, it wasn't there.

Afraid that I was experiencing one of those "senior moments," I considered the possibility I may have parked elsewhere. But the more I thought about it, the more certain I was I had parked in that part of the lot.

Additionally, there weren't a great many other cars around since it was early in the morning. So I was quickly able to scan the rest of the lot and realize my vehicle was nowhere to be seen. My heart began to race as I felt a sense of panic. Was it stolen? I had only gone into the store for a few minutes to pick up a couple of items. Would someone have taken it so quickly?

As I stood there looking over the parking lot, questioning my sanity, and thinking what I should do next, another customer who had just left the store walked by. Realizing how strange I must have looked, I commented to her that apparently I had lost my car. She quipped that she had a similar experience a while back until she became aware she was looking for the wrong car.

As soon as those words left her mouth, the realization hit me like a ton of bricks. I had driven my wife's car to the store. And sure enough, there it was, only a few feet from where I was standing.

I had been so focused on looking for my car that I hadn't even noticed our other vehicle right in front of my face. So yes, I did experience a senior moment after all.

I'm still amazed at how blind I was that day. But maybe it helps to explain the spiritual blindness from which we can suffer. The Bible refers to those who have eyes but can't see. Sometimes we can miss what's right in front of us due to our being so focused on how we think things should be or how we want them to be.

Some people refuse to believe in God or simply don't want to believe. They are blind to the evidence of His existence that is all around them. However at the same time, they will accept alternate ideas which have less credibility and which require more faith than the belief in the Creator.

Others of us refuse to see our own faults and sins which the Lord tries to reveal to us. We can clearly see them in other people. But when it comes to our own wrongs, we tend to ignore them, deny them, take them lightly, or make excuses for them.

Some of us are blind to certain truths in God's Word. That particular idea or doctrine is not what we were taught or it's not what we want to believe. Therefore, we overlook distinct evidence in the Bible which contradicts our long-held notions.

For example, I believe many Christians are so set in their ideas about how things are going to play out in "the last days" that they aren't open to some clear teachings in the Bible which might suggest an alternate scenario.

In that and other areas, we're often guilty of looking for our car -- what we want the Bible to say -- rather than seeing the real vehicle of truth that is right before our eyes.

We all need to guard against spiritual blindness. Let's not have any senior moments when it comes to seeing the truth God is trying to show us.

The Rev. Tony W. Elder is pastor of Wesley Community Fellowship Church. He can be reached at 770-483-3405 or by email at RevTElder@aol.com.