Don't Run Away and Join the Circus

Don't Run Away and Join the Circus

Proverbs 28

"The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions."

Lillian Daniel

When I was little, and I got exasperated with my parents, they would say, "Well, don't get so mad at us that you run away and join the circus."

That expression didn't make any sense to me. For one thing, I had never been to a circus. For another, if I were to run away, it was more likely to be to the corner store a block away, because at least they sold candy. So when I grew older, I asked them about the expression and what it meant to them.

They said it was the kind of thing that little kids said back when they were little kids. When those travelling circus buses, trailers and caravans pulled into your small town, you knew something exciting was in store.

As children, they believed the life of a circus performer was one of adventure. Why, if you ran away to this circus, and snuck into one of those buses just as it was leaving, you would have a ride out of town, a job, and a new life on the road where your parents could never find you!

"You must have been awfully mad at your parents to want to do that," I said.

"Our parents drove us crazy," they said. "They could be exasperating."

And that was when it hit me. These exasperating parents of mine, who often drove me crazy, had once been children themselves. And what are the odds, they too had exasperating parents?

It would never happen to me, I promised my young self. I would never become an exasperating parent.

Well, as of this date, neither one of my children has actually run away to join the circus.

Although there are times when, as a mom, I have considered it.

Prayer

God of eternity, give to each generation a balance of boldness and humility. Amen.

About the Author
Lillian Daniel is the senior minister of First Congregational Church, Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Her newest book, When "Spiritual But Not Religious" is Not Enough, has just been released.