Sometimes people cannot see or hear what is right in front of them. Their preconceived beliefs cause a mental blind spot.
There is a well known psychological experiment called the “Dancing Gorilla Experiment.” A quick google search will bring you a few versions you may view. If you want to participate in the experiment, do not read further until you watch the clip. Reading the following before viewing the video clip will ruin the experiment for you.
The experiment was a counting exercise where a study participant had to count the number of times a basketball was passed between a group of persons on a basketball court. While the participant is absorbed in counting the number of passes, a person in a gorilla costume dances in the center of the group passing the basketball. At the conclusion of the study, participants are asked about the number of passes they counted. They give their answers. Then, the study participants are asked whether they saw a person dancing in a gorilla suit. A majority of study participants reported to not have seen the dancing gorilla, even though the gorilla was in the center of their visual field. The experiment suggests we do not notice certain objects when our attention is focused on another aspect of our sense experience.
Our preconceptions can mislead us. Jesus himself revealed that he will often appear to us as “the least” brother or sister. We have the ability to shut God out of our lives and stay so busy with the details in life that we do not use our eyes to see or our ears to hear what he is saying to us. We do not see Jesus in our daily life because we are not looking for him. We seem to put on blindfolds and walk through our days as if Jesus does not cross our daily path. This can prevent us from seeing the love and the opportunities he puts in front of us. We simply do not believe that Jesus will show up in our everyday life. When we are absorbed in ourselves, we are not aware of his presence. The gifts of creation, beauty, other people, faith, and love are present if we open our hearts and eyes to see. Jesus has said, “Look, I am with you every day until the end of this age!” We have only to open our eyes.