I just finished reading an interesting piece on Slate, regarding the legends that the Ark of the Covenant is in Ethiopia.
There is a person at a church who is called the Guardian Monk, a frail old Orthodox priest who fasts constantly and sleeps above the Ark's supposed resting place. What interested me was nothing to do with the story about the Ark, but what this wise old priest had to say about God.
The author of the story asks him for any advice or wisdom.
He says, "Two things keep you from God. Suspicion and being desperate. Suspicion means you think there's another way to escape this mess besides God. Suspicion is Lot's wife. Being desperate means believing in God, but not that He will forgive you, like Judas. Judas believed in God, but not that God would forgive him after he betrayed Jesus."
What a brilliantly short description of the things which keep us from the Gospel. The rest of the article is also worth a read for those who are interested in history and Near Eastern cultures.