For a long time, one of my favorite radio shows has been the Bob and Tom Show in the mornings and one of my favorite bits that they do is the Mr. Obvious Show. People call in to the show with a problem or a question for Mr. Obvious, the joke being of course, that the solution or answer is obvious to everyone else. For example, one caller wanted Mr. Obvious’ advice on what to do about the animal trapped under his sink. As Mr. Obvious asks more and more questions, it becomes clear that there’s not actually an animal trapped under his sink, but a garbage disposal. What makes the bit funnier and funnier is wondering how far it will go before they see what the obvious truth is.
In our own lives, we often find ourselves in a similar situation, though our spiritual blindness is no laughing matter. A perfect example comes in today’s Old Testament lesson. The prophet Nathan comes to King David to expose his sin to him. Because of the depth of David’s sin, he wasn’t seeing it for what it was. For that reason, he needed Nathan to come to him and make it clear to him. It’s reasonable to think that David must not have been acknowledging his error already because of not only his surprise at Nathan’s revelation, “You ARE the man!” but also because of his response.
The other downside of spiritual blindness, which can be just as damaging, is that it hides God’s blessings as well. God’s blessings aren’t just extra credit that we can do without, the cherry on the sundae. Seeing God’s blessings gives us the nourishment and encouragement that we need to persevere through the trials and suffering that comes as a part of this broken world. If we go through life never seeing God’s blessings, we’ll eventually leave our faith weak and vulnerable. That’s how we become bitter and hard-hearted, cynical about whether or God is acting in this world at all.
We have to continually be asking God for wisdom and discernment and looking to receive it. If we go through our lives only presenting God with a wish list, we’ll find ourselves becoming disappointed when we miss the blessings God gives without our request. But if we pray for help in discernment, we’ll find our eyes opened and, just like the callers seeking the help of the sage host, saying, “Gosh, thanks Mr. Obvious; I never made the connection.”