Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: See (07/22/10)
TITLE: The Greatest Show on Earth
By Cheryl Harrison
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After much ado, we arrived at our seats. Lights and music filled the room. Clowns tripped and fell while others laughed at their folly. Magicians enticed volunteers into magic boxes and proceeded to saw them in half or make them vanish into thin air. I couldn't keep up. Everything moved too fast! One minute the circus floor became alive with dancers and clowns. Suddenly, they were gone and elephants paraded around the room. Without warning the lights shifted to the ceiling where a young couple danced... upside down. I still don't understand why they didn't pass out. The dancers captured my attention until a tiger cage appeared on the floor. Right then I realized that the circus had mastered the art of distraction. They made me look left so I would not see what they were doing on the right. Then they made me look up so I would not see what they were doing on the floor.
I cannot help but compare the circus with everyday life. Most of our calendars resemble a 3-Ring circus. Some of us run around like circus clowns. We fall down (or we push someone down) and then we laugh. Others of us try to balance life on our shoulders while we venture out onto a tightrope. A select few choose to train lions. Then, like me, others of us love to dance upside down. Warning! If we dance upside down for too long, the blood rushes to our head and we lose our mind.
Yes, the circus uses distraction well, but the true master of distraction is the enemy of our souls. Satan hates it when Christians focus on God and his repeated use of distraction almost always achieves his purpose... Christians who take their eyes off of God.
In the John 21:15-23 we find a perfect example: Jesus was in a deep conversation with Peter. Here, Jesus asks Peter three times about love and then, after Peter responds to each question, Jesus gives him an assignment... Feed my lambs...Take care of my sheep...Feed my sheep. This, my friend, was Peter's call into the ministry. After this, Jesus revealed something else to Peter... "I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." The reason Jesus said this was to indicate how Peter's death would glorify God. Jesus told Peter that someone would lead him where he did not want to go, but then added... Follow me! In other words... "Peter, no matter what happens do not take your eyes off of me." But alas, while Jesus was still talking, Peter turned around and became distracted by someone who was following them... When Peter saw him, he asked, "Lord, what about him?" Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me."
Could it be that like Peter, we have a short attention span. While the Lord reveals His plan for us our focus turns toward other people or other things? Does Satan's sleight of hand grab our attention and the voice of the Lord becomes nothing but a soft echo in our ears. Then, before we realize it, the snare of distraction snaps shut.
Don't fret! God is able to free snared people. Distractions may come and go, but one thing is clear... God's work is God's work. He has no need to compete with Himself. God can accomplish many different things through many different people at the same time. Our part is to remain focused. Hey, did you see that? The Greatest Show in Heaven and on Earth... God at work!
<center>Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured
the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:2 NIV<center>
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