For nearly 100 years, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus company has been responsible for producing ‘the greatest show on earth’ in cities all across the nation, and across the globe. Over the years, this company of performers has included tightrope walkers and trapeze acrobats, magicians and stunt artists, and of course, thousands of trained animals all assembled under one big tent.
There is perhaps no featured act or performance that has helped generate more revenue and worldwide acclaim for this company than of its circus elephants. Families both young and old would travel for miles in order to catch a glimpse of the world’s largest land animal balancing itself on a small ball or stool, or climbing on the back of another elephant in order to make a gigantic pyramid. To see many of these wild animals up and close, performing such amazing feats at the sound of a whistle or crack of a whip, is indeed an unforgettable experience.
However, due to several accounts of animal cruelty and accidental deaths involving circus animals, as well as the rise illegal poaching of elephants for ivory, conservationist groups have persuaded Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to discontinue using elephants in any of its acts. Despite its fear of declining attendance and revenue, the company has decided that the legal risk involved with keeping these elephants is just too great a cost to bear.
What do you do when your biggest stunt or focus of attention is no longer beneficial to keep around? What happens when the ‘elephant in the room’ or in your own personal life has suddenly disappeared?
When sharing about the importance of evaluating the kind of sacrifices and offerings we should make as believers to God, the writer of Hebrews states that God Himself has a vested interest in trading in our older acts for newer ones.
“Behold, I have come to do Your will. He takes away the first in order to establish the second.”
It is amazing what you and I will try to hold on to that God is no longer interested in featuring. When Jesus offered His life as a perfect sacrifice for our sins, it was not to simply serve as a ringmaster for those things we would want to keep.
He came to take center stage.
Christ came to take top billing over every decision we make, every relationship we enter, and every single word our tongues are dripping with haste to say, which James wrote is the toughest act for us to tame.
Don’t be afraid to lose a few elephants in order to make room for God to bring new blessings into your life. Dare to make your life the best ticket in town.