Saturday, January 31, 2015

Wearing Blinders - Martin Wiles

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When worn properly, they prevent me from noticing what God desires I see. 

As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores. Luke 16:21 NLT

I first noticed them when I was a young boy attending town Christmas parades. As the horse drawn floats and carriages meandered by, the horses sported blinders to remove their peripheral view. At the time, it made no sense to me. Why would the owners not want their horses to see in a certain direction? Later I learned it was for the safety of the crowd and the one riding the horse or driving the carriage. 

The rich man wore blinders. A beggar named Lazarus almost lay in his lap, but he didn’t see him—not truly. He was too busy living in luxury to concern himself with someone who might steal his time and dance on his emotions. His reasons for wearing blinders can be mine.

When I fear change, I wear blinders. Helping the beggar would mean the rich man would have to give up some of what he enjoyed. The direction I feel God prompting me to take may be uncomfortable. Change normally is. I get accustomed to my traditions and feel contented. 

I wear blinders when I’m anxious over what this change might entail. Change usually involves a particular loss. For the rich man, it would have been some of his luxury. Intervening in others’ lives means giving up something—time, money. But in the relinquishing, I actually gain more than I lose. Selfishness will keep my eyes focused inward and hinder me from learning that true living is about serving God by serving others.

Stereotyping also situates blinders on my eyes. The rich man doubtlessly didn’t see the inner potential Lazarus may have had. He never stopped to think how he could enhance the beggar’s life. Applying to everyone what I’ve experienced with one race, culture, religion, or economic stratum puts blinders on my eyes and hides from me their inner potential. 

What blinders are you wearing that prevent you from seeing what God desires you see?

Prayer: Remove our blinders, merciful God, that we might perceive all You would have us observe. 
(Photo courtesy of morguefile and clarita.)

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