Here is my latest entry for Our Daily Journey. Much obliged if you spot any errors before I turn it in.
Students at Arizona State University have invented a funny way to distract opposing basketball teams during free throw attempts. They position a “curtain of distraction” beneath the basket, and just before a player on the other team attempts a foul shot, they open the curtain to reveal something weird. It might be dancing unicorns, a lion wearing a tutu, or a purple-haired grandmother waving a cane. Recently it was Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, wearing his gold medals while pretending to do the crawl stroke. The player missed both free throws.
The curtain of distraction is the most entertaining part of Arizona State’s home games, but there is a more serious curtain in our lives. What interesting things does Satan use to distract us from our goal? It could be a cell phone that sucks up our time until there is nothing left for God. It could be a job that promises to give us everything if we give everything to it. It could be a boyfriend or girlfriend who impatiently demands our full attention. Do family or friends say you’ve changed? Pay attention. The curtain of distraction may have taken your eyes off the goal.
Paul says it’s not just good things—in his case being a zealous Jew—that can distract us from Christ (Philippians 3:5-8). It also can be the bad mistakes we’ve made. Are you weary of Satan pulling back the curtain to reveal a sordid sin from your past? It could be a haughty moment or unkind word, a bald lie or sexual sin. The memory is whistling, waving its hands, and wearing a tutu.
Because it’s silly. Satan wants to distract you, but if you handle this right, all he will do is remind you that your past is over. Thank him for the prompt to thank Jesus for His forgiveness. Then “forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,” raise your eyes to the rim (Philippians 3:13-14). Aim. Shoot. Swish.
Photo by Chilli Head. Via Flickr. Used by permission.