Weapons of Mass Distraction

Walking into the park, a vast expanse of grass unfolds before me. Dotting the landscape are simple, white canvas tents, with cannon and horses on the hillside. Campfires smolder, the smell of smoke heavy in the air. Joy welled up inside me. Happiness is a Civil War Encampment.

My husband held back a bit, walking in my wake. He’s not a history buff, but he likes the blacksmith thing and the cannons, so he agreed to come with me. We visited with the soldiers and I spoke to some lovely teenagers in hoopskirts. I was having a great time. Turning to leave, I saw some reenactors giving a talk under one of the large tarps. Yay! History lesson!

“General Lee” was talking about war strategy. He explained that the North needed access to the Mississippi River for supply travel, but the South had a chokehold on the riverbanks. He decided to order one of his regiments to saddle up and ride through Louisiana.

Just ride. They were not to engage the enemy. No fighting. He figured that just the sight of a Yankee regiment on the move would create an effective diversion. He was right. Hundreds of Confederate troops ran to see what the heck was going on in Louisiana. Grant got his port.

I leaned over and whispered to my husband, “This guy’s a GENIUS!” My enthusiasm was met with a thoughtful “Mm-hmm” as my husband scanned the program, looking for the start time of the embalming demo. Maybe he is underwhelmed, but I am in awe.

Actually, the tactic of diversion is as old as the hills.  Ask the parent of a toddler, or especially a magician. “Look over here!” And I do, and I’m faked out of my socks.

So simple. So effective.

Unfortunately, this happens in my life too. I’m on the right path and defending my post. Prayer life? Check. Eating habits? Check. Negative emotions? Check.  But then someone lets the horses out, and there I am, running after them, trying to get a better look.

Sitting in front of the TV, I am too tired to move.    
Goodbye night prayer.

That cupcake looks amazing! 
Goodbye diet.

                           A car cuts me off in traffic.                        Goodbye patience.

These life events don’t make earsplitting noise; there are no cannons, no rifles. But like the army of the South, they are just enough to make me abandon my post.  The thundering hooves of distraction turn my head and I am abandoning my path.  It’s miles before I stop and wonder: “How did I get here?”

So simple. So effective.

The war talk is over. Exiting the tent, I realize that I learned more than a history lesson today.

The frantic activities designed to lead me away from the Lord will keep coming. I’ve got to be alert and pay no attention to the meaningless commotion. I know where I need to be. And I don’t want to be distracted.

Linking with A Little R and R Wednesdays

Linking with Word Filled Wednesday

Linking with Wednesdays Prayer Girls

Linking with Into the Word Wednesday

Labels: , ,