Now See This

Matthew 7:3 Why do you look at the sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

It was February, 1991 at Samford University.  This equated with long hours of practice to learn lyrics and perfect choreography.  I, along with my sorority, had entered our school's Step Sing competition. 

A break came in the middle of one particularly arduous rehearsal.  We were released for thirty glorious minutes and I raced a car load full of my sisters to get "biggie" size drinks.  My drink was too massive to fit in my car's cup holder so I secured it between my legs as I bantered with my friends and stole sips at stoplights. 

We were just a few hundred feet from returning to our practice site when we hit a red light.  I celebrated the pause and dipped my head down to my drink for a quick gulp.  Apparently I missed my target because when I brought my head back up my straw came with me...suction cupped to my eyeball.

Today's reading is Matthew 22.  The bulk of what is recorded here is a series of attempted entrapments.  Groups who opposed Jesus try to ask questions He can't answer.  His responses are so well crafted that His accusers are amazed, astonished and left without reply. 

As I pictured the religious elite hurling their inquests at Jesus, I realized how misguided they were.  They interrogate when they should celebrate.  I am reminded of a teaching Jesus gave a few chapters back in Matthew 7 about how it is far easier to detect the speck in my sister's eye than the gigantic log which protrudes from my own.

When that straw got suction cupped to my eyeball, I felt first hand what it is like to ignore the plank in your own eye.  Here is a few of the lessons I learned:
  • My Sight is Narrowed by my Straw - With that straw sticking out from me like a miniature plastic appendage, I could hardly manage to continue to drive.  How then is it that I think I see the dust in the eyes of another?  The answer is I can't.  I only think I see someone's faults.  In reality, I am blinded by my own.
  • Removing my Straw is a Good Kind of Pain - My eye throbbed for some time after removal of the implement.  It was a pain well tolerated.  That ache signaled the restoration of my vision.  It hurts when I allow God to meddle in the places of my life I might rather keep covered by a log.  The pain is only intensified when that area is laid bare before God.  But it's a good kind of hurt.  It's the kind of hurt that signals my drawing closer to Jesus and seeing Him with restored vision.
  • My Sight is Shifted when I Remove my Straw - Once obscured, my sight was restored when the straw was yanked from my eye.  My eyes no longer wandered about.  They were lasered on the road before me.  The same is true when I pry the spiritual flaw from my life.  I see clearly.  My sight is shifted to Jesus and the road He has before me.
Jesus, today I will not submit You or others to my inquisition.  Instead I will allow You to walk about in my heart and reveal the straw which protrudes from my own eye.  I will let You remove it.  Though painful, I will then see clearly the road You have set before me.

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