Sideshow Attractions

 

I love to drive.  Living here in the beautiful Texas Hill Country provides for a lovely drive just about any day.  The stretch of highway between our town and the next is lined with hay fields, vineyards, peach orchards, and my springtime favorite, wildflowers.  

On a recent drive to check out the scenery, I headed west and set the cruise control.  At each new awe-inspiring site I would gaze over to take it all in but would also drift over onto the shoulder a little.  When I heard my tires run over the warning bumps on the shoulder, I quickly corrected and got back in the middle of my lane.

I did this several times which made me laugh a little but it also made me ponder a few things.  I consider myself a very good driver, that I handle my truck well in any situation, yet with just a glance over to the fields beside me, I wasn’t staying on the road well at all.  Same with my life. I think I do a good job at staying on the road God has laid out before me, yet with a simple glance one way or the other, I’m off the road.

In Proverbs chapter 4, verses 25-27 (Message version), you’ll find one of my all time favorite passages.  The message is quite clear.

Keep your eyes straight ahead;
   ignore all sideshow distractions.
Watch your step,
   and the road will stretch out smooth before you.
Look neither right nor left;
   leave evil in the dust.

Even when the sideshow is as beautiful as a field of red poppies or a green pasture filled with grazing black cows, it is still a sideshow and can get me into serious trouble if all of  my attention goes there. Satan would love nothing better than to entice us off the road Christ has laid out for us. He will use the beautiful as well as the ugly to get us to swerve off the road or turn onto a dusty, bumpy road filled with detours of trouble.  

My road trip with God is like my drive in the country, I’m easily distracted by beautiful opportunities and options, other than the ones God has chosen for me.  I’m also easily tricked into thinking it’s a Godly option when really it is Satan trying to sneak one by me. Maybe you do the same thing.

When we find ourselves running over the warning bumps on the shoulder of our life’s journey, we should take heed.  It is probably the Holy Spirit giving us a little nudge to wake us up and get our eyes back on the right road.

“Leave evil in the dust,” verse 27 says.  So spin those tires and peel-out from the dusty evil shoulder before we get ourselves in big trouble.  God will lead us down the smooth road and show us beauty along the way.  We just need to stay focused on Him.

 

If this rings true for you as well, please share it and pass it on.  Thank you.

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