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Did You Spot the Gorilla?

"I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth."1

Tony Whittaker wrote how a 30-second film shows six people playing basketball, three in white shirts and three in black. Volunteers are asked to count how many times the white shirt team passes the ball. At the end of the film, they are asked if they saw anything unusual. Most do not. The unusual thing is: halfway through the film, a man wearing a gorilla suit walks through the players, beats his chest to the camera, and then walks off.

"When shown the film again, people are utterly surprised to see him, to the extent that they often believe a different film has been substituted for the original one. Their focus on one task has blinded them to a truth.

"This film trick illustrates a simple fact—that if we are only looking for one thing, we do not usually see anything different. This forms the basis of Professor Richard Wiseman's new book, Did You Spot the Gorilla? How to Recognize Hidden Opportunities. The point at which people finally see the unexpected is what he calls a 'gorilla moment.'"2 Furthermore, so often in life people see only what they want to see and don't see what they don't want or need to see.

Have you had any "gorilla moments" lately? Have you seen God in your surroundings, in the love of those who love and accept you, in the myriad of blessings we all receive every day? And have you seen God in your present circumstances, or heard what he is trying to say to you in your disappointments, your financial setback, or your losses?

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to see and experience the wonder of your handiwork in all of nature as well as in the everyday issues of life. And above all, in the words of the songwriter, 'Open my eyes, Lord; I want to see Jesus, To reach out and touch Him and say that I love Him. Open my ears, Lord; help me to listen. Open my eyes, Lord; I want to see Jesus!'3 Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Psalm 121:1-2 (NIV).
2. Tony Whittaker, Web Evangelism Bulletin,
3. Words and music by Bob Cull. Copyright 1976 by Maranatha Music, Box 1396, Costa Mesa, California 92626.


All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.