I’ve never been a fan of the circus. It could come to town and miss me. I never cared for the aroma and the activity. Nevertheless, I understand how appealing it could be and I respect that. However even as people gather under the big tent, there is one major attraction that is centered so that all eyes are focused upon it. Yet have you ever noticed (if you are a circus aficionado) that there is a great deal of activity throughout the tent and that if you gaze upon it, even briefly, you can miss the main event, the central reason that brought you into the space? If we juxtapose this analogy in our daily walk, it might resemble other matters or people that challenge us to remove our focus off of God thereby leaving us vulnerable to tangling with the enemy when that was never the hope of God for us.
I stumbled across Proverbs 4:25 in the Message during the course of last week. It reads, “Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions.” I may have screamed aloud because the enemy has beckoned me to put a costume on and join the circus! To engage in a level of activity that requires performance over purpose. Sideshow distractions spoke loudly in my spirit because I’ve found a myriad of events attempting to get my attention, demanding my energy and attempting to suffocate my peace. Yet our instruction and the expectation of God is that we keep our eyes locked straight, resisting the temptation to loose focus. The sideshows will present in any form imaginable. Sometimes we recognize it, sometimes we are surprised by it, and still other times we participate in it. In those moments we must diligently seek the Lord and acknowledge that not everyone is interested in the best that God has for us; honestly, they may not even be interested in the best that God has for them.
Sideshows are just what their name implies. They are not the focal point and they perpetrate as important although they are rooted in performance. When we operate in relationship with God, we can’t afford to get caught up with things that don’t matter and perhaps more importantly, things that place our destiny at stake. The crucification and subsequent resurrection of Christ enables us to overcome and surpass distractions. As believers we are to do our level best to ignore anything that draws us off the path that God has chosen for our life. Easy? Not necessarily, but certainly necessary. When we get caught up in participating in that which God has not ordained, it is imperative that we own our misstep, repent and be not entangled in the bondage agin. In the words of Blue Magic, “let the sideshow begin,” may we choose to pass, and not just this once, but instill a determination to ignore each time the “circus” comes to town. We cannot afford to be distracted by the distraction.