I usually take time to share coupon stories on my blog, but today I felt the need to express my thoughts on other pressing subjects going on in my life. If you know me personally, you probably already know that I am a spiritual person. I believe that God takes us down different paths in life in order to teach us a lesson, help us grow as individuals, and bring us closer to his presence. I have many friends who do not believe in God, and while the secular arguments against his existence can be somewhat compelling, I cannot ignore the mountain of evidence that there are some things in life that happen without explanation.

Each evening, before I go to sleep, I talk to God about all of the things that are going on in my life. Friends, family, love (or lack thereof) and how I am grateful for the blessings he has brought to me thus far. I also spend time reading my Bible and I use a 1 minute student bible study guide as a way to get additional affirmations of faith in before I retire for the night.

Last night's verse made me pause for a second as I thought about all of the obstacles that I've faced in the past few months. It's from the book of John and it's his account of one of the many miracles of Jesus. Jesus and his disciples stumbled upon a blind man during one of Jesus' ministry trips. His disciples asked Jesus, "Teacher... why was this man born blind? Was it a result of his own sins, or of his parents?"

Can you imagine being the blind guy listening to this question. I couldn't help but step into his shoes and think how pissed off I would be if a bunch of scruffy, smelly religious zealots came beaten down the dusty road into my hood and told me it was my fault or my parent's fault for not being able to see. Can you imagine spending your entire life unable to wake up to the sunshine on the window sill or watch the floors bloom at your door step? Spending your entire life relying on others to be your eyes and to lead you around by the hand to do basic activities like eating, sleeping, and using the bathroom. The pain of hearing hat perhaps it was your own fault you can't survive on your own must be so unbearable.

What was Jesus' response? Jesus turned to his disciples and said, "He was born blind so the power of God could be seen in him." Jesus then spit into the ground and wiped his muddy fingers on the blind man's eye and told him to rinse his eyes out in the river. The blind man rinsed his eyes out in the river and he was healed. 

I wonder how he felt seeing his world for the first time. Perhaps he was doubly pissed when some dude came by and put muddy spit into his eyes. He probably was only pissed for a moment before his anger turned into ecstasy. He could now see the plants, trees, and the warm sun that he could only feel for so long. His life of darkness suddenly faded into a life full of opportunities, light, and self-actualization. 

I felt a strong connection to this verse because I too, feel like I am blind. Lately, I can't help but hear the voices asking whether or not the obstacles in my life are of my own doing. If I had "tried harder" in school, perhaps I would have a career by now, or if I had tried harder in my personal life, perhaps I would have a family by now. All of the cracks, the surrounding darkness, or pain is of my own doing and there are days where those voices can often drown out the only voice that matters. Not unlike the blind man, they become the relentless darkness that pervades my every thought and movement. 

A care pastor at my church told me that all things will be restored onto you. It's a verse from the Bible I've heard many times, but taking it to heart has been a mighty hill I still have yet to climb. Restoring the friendships and the dreams I've had since I was young is a pretty tall order. All I can see are the obstacles in the path and how impossible it seems for any of those dreams to come to fruition at this point in my life. 

I keep reminding myself that Jesus had given up his life for me so that I may live life and live it more abundantly. If spitting in the ground and mixing it with mud could make a blind man see, I can only imagine what his death on the cross and a little bit of faith can do for me. The only way to stop seeing what is in front of you, both metaphorically and physically, is to shut your eyes and give in to the blindness. Only when you stop seeing and start believing will God be able to show his power in your life.

Eyes Wide Shut,

P. Manolos

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