For nearly 100 years, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus company had been responsible for producing ‘the greatest show on earth’ in cities all across the nation, and across the globe. This company of performers included tightrope walkers, trapeze acrobats, magicians and stunt artists, and of course, thousands of trained animals all assembled under one big tent.
Although the circus company recently went out of business, there was perhaps no featured act or performance that has helped generate more revenue and worldwide acclaim for them 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 these wild animals up and close, performing such amazing feats at the sound of a whistle or crack of a whip, was 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 finally 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 had decided that the legal risk involved with keeping these elephants is just too great a cost to bear. Many believe the delay of this decision was the beginning of the end for the company, who never knew how much of their success was riding on these animals.
So 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 it comes to the importance of evaluating the kind of changes and sacrifices we should make as believers, Hebrews 10:9 states that God Himself has a vested interest in trading in some of 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 keeping. 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, with every relationship we enter, and with every single word our tongues are dripping with haste to say, which is by far the toughest act 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.