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
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
Sitting in front of the TV, I am too tired to move.
That cupcake looks amazing!
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
Labels: distraction, diversion, persistance