“Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.”
“It’s dark in there, everyone. But don’t be afraid! When we stick together, we will have enough light to banish the darkness!”
A volley of loud giggles and varied intense assents hit me in the midsection. (They are short, after all). Glow-in-the-dark rings, bracelets, and swords were brandished in a flourish, a show of bravado.
I peered in.
Holding my glowing sword high, I entered the darkness – followed by a rag-tag band of littles in our quest for the Royal Ball.
We wandered through the Slough of Selfishness. We adroitly skirted the Pit of Despair.
Then we mounted the Stairs of Confusion and found the Sin Swamp.
“Don’t get stuck!” I admonished. “Remember your training! Roll through! One at a time!” Giggles and murmurs and various grunts ensued as the littles followed their Captain’s orders and safely rolled across the green mats.
But our real test was ahead.
“Beware the Den of Distractions! There will be many, many wonderful things ahead! You will want to look, and touch, and play! But you must stay focused on the goal of our Quest – to get to the Royal Ball!”
We slowly entered the gym equipment room.
For those who don’t know (or refuse to remember), the Gym Equipment Room is rather like the Holy Grail. Littles don’t often have access to it – and never free access, at that.
And never, never had they entered the sacred space from the stage door at the back.
“Mrs. Lowes! Mrs. Lowes! They are getting distracted!” Desperate cries rose from the disintegrating clump of questers as littles broke ranks.
One was into the hockey sticks. Two others found the hoops, glazed looks on their faces. Another had spotted a basket of colourful scarves.
This was getting serious.
An Intervention was in order.
“Don’t forget our mission! We are on our way to the Royal Ball! We all received invitations! The King himself will be there! Don’t. Lose. Focus!”
It was tough.
We had to wait patiently in the Den of Distractions for a few minutes as the gate was prepared. Tall about needing some self control!
At long last, all was ready.
We passed through the Gate of Golden Glitter, and there it was.
The Royal Ballroom!
Classical music was playing. The dance floor was lit up with glowing balloons. The littles received streamers on sticks to dance with – and they were off!
I have no idea how much of the symbolism those littles ‘got’.
But I sure was impacted!
I’m remembering today how easily I get distracted, a few good moves into my quest. I recognize some challenges immediately for what they are, and sidestep them with few issues.
Then I get to the Den of Distractions.
Ooooh! A sale! A new app! Chocolate! Facebook!!! Netflix!! My eyes glaze over, and I break ranks.
I forget that I am, after all, on my way somewhere. Somewhere important. I forget that my golden invitation sits unheeded, crumpled in a pocket, as I go in search of something to dull the pain of inadequacy, or satisfy the itch of selfishness.
I need reminders. I need y’all. I need to regain focus when I’ve spent too much time in the Den of Distraction. I need to notice you, and you need to notice and redirect me when the glitter and glamour of the Den get my eyes off my end game. We are in this Quest together, after all.
Move steadily toward the Royal Ball with me?
Father, You have called us to move through this life in groups for a reason. We can help each other when the traps and pitfalls get too much. Help us to stick together and keep each other on track. Remind us to look straight ahead and keep our eyes on our Captain and on our end game! Amen.