Dismounting the Merry-Go-Round

Merry-go-rounds primarily consist of elaborately carved wooden horses painted with intricate, colorful designs.

Some are carved with sweeping brown manes and light brown bodies with accents of red, and a rust orange saddle. Others are fictitiously blue with grey manes, white hooves, and a pink saddle.

These are visual details that attract the eyes of children who watch carved animals rotate on a beautifully decorated merry-go-round.

Who wouldn't be attracted to painted horses that move up and down and go around and around circling and sliding to an allegretto tempo in a colorful display of fantastical joy?

I've ridden them myself as a child - and rarely ever wanted to dismount them. I always felt it to be a privilege to mount make-believe horses. Often, I would imagine that I was in a field on a galloping pony taking in the scenery and feeling a cool breeze meet my face and take my breath away.

“You have been wandering around in this hill country long enough; turn to the north.” (Deuteronomy 2:3, NLT)

“Therefore change your hearts and stop being stubborn.”
(Deuteronomy 10:16, NLT)

“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (Deuteronomy 31:18, NLT)

The Thrill is Gone

The thing with carousels is that they are only as fun as their initial thrill.

Once you have gone around a few times, the thrill is gone, and amazement is waned. Well, so you think. Time passes - six months, one year, two years, and you see a carousel again for the first time in a long time.

Excitement is reignited and joy fills your heart once again.

Carousels satisfy the urge for immediate gratification. But one would be remiss to repeatedly mount carved wood expecting it to metamorphose into a living, breathing pony or any other vehicle of lasting change.

The image of a merry-go-round illustrates how easy it is to be distracted by fantasies, delusions, or reminiscent thoughts. Such thoughts prevent you from adapting to new circumstances and making significant progressions in your life.

It is so much easier to go around in circles, living in a phony world and neglecting to acknowledge truth.

Coming to a Halt

It is easy to become mesmerized like the Israelites were. They were wandering around the same mountain without considering the fact that their circumstances had changed. They needed to make necessary adaptations in order to be fully present.

At some point you have to decide to stop wandering and make a sharp turn north. Turning north means that you understand that regardless of the adversities and disappointments you face, God is with you and will give you the strength to adapt.

Merry-go-rounds are fun for the moment, but you have to be willing to dismount and be realistic about what is going on in your life.

Will you be dazzled by the painted horses and bright lights of the carousel? Or, will you realistically live in your present circumstances and trust God to be your guide?

Is God calling you to something greater? Will you dismount and follow Him or continue to go in circles while living an unfulfilled life?

Our lives will never be perfect, but we can choose to live a life in close alignment with what God has designed us to do, or we can be like the majority of the Israelites who never entered into Canaan.

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