The great shell game

From its first known beginnings in ancient Greece, to city streets today, the “shell game” is purported as a popular game of chance and fortune. In point of fact, the police officer in me can tell you this game is actually a finely tuned criminal fraud. The intent of the gamer is to use sleight of hand and divided attention to distract the ignorant using their fascination and greed against them. The criminal is very adept in his craft. Very knowledgeable in his understanding of the weakness and susceptibility of his target. As the shells move faster and the rhetoric of the thug drips with anticipation, it becomes easier and easier to conceal what is truly important. The shell holding the prize is lost in the clarity of confusion, the satisfaction of distraction. The shells are often different colors adding to the concentration crisis. The crook often arrests the rabid fascination and rapt attention of all observers, raising the stakes with each engagement leaving the players stunned, angry and broke.

They’ve been played.

America, we’re being played. Every day the table of distraction is set. The shells (usually four) are arranged. The ball (which is what we should be watching, paying attention to) is concealed. The ball is our prize, the shell surrounding it, our problem. Americas prizes can’t be won without concentrating on its problems. Alas, the other distracting shells. The shell of “political correctness” which all but negates thoughtful conversation let alone the free speech of debate and opinion. The shell of “the media” which is singular in its value to the great magician by inundating us with not news, but delicious distraction and pundit prowess. The shell of “sin,” which draws us to the game, fascinates us with a desire to play and motivates us to forget “we just lost.” What about the great magician, the master gamester? As a minister of the Gospel, I know him. I’ve played with him. I’ve lost a lot to him.

Satan has nothing to do with the ball, anything good, important, or true (Jam 1:17, Jn 16:13). The Bible calls him the father of deceit and a master of distraction (Jn 8:44). A criminal who wants both your money and your life (Jn 10:10). He uses the shells of PC, media and sin to conceal what’s really important. We watch with eyes that seek sensationalism (1Jn 2:16). We listen with ears that itch for controversy (2Tim 4:3) as the gamester conceals the truth with what we think is true, until our lie becomes our truth.

America, it’s not too late! Stop playing the game.