I heard an old circus story recently, about a little boy who heard the circus was coming to his rural town. He begged (and begged and begged) until his mom gave him the dollar to purchase his ticket.
On the morning of the big day he got up early and was waiting when the circus train pulled into town. He had a front row seat as the troupe unloaded and began its grand march through town.
He was amazed! Ladies on ponies. Clowns in cars. Jugglers. Acrobats riding elephants. Most astonishing show the little boy had ever seen.
As the parade ended, he walked up to the last person (the guy following the elephants with the shovel). He handed the man his dollar, thanked him, and headed home.
The boy saw a remarkable show, but it was only the previews. And because he didn’t know better, he settled for the parade. He never saw the circus.
I wonder how often you and I do that, how often we miss something truly amazing because we settled for something sorta good. How often do we skim the obvious entertainment off the surface without digging for the quality experience beneath?
It’s easy to sign up for an experience like the FREEDOM TOUR, go through the process, do the training, complete the ride, have a great time – and miss the main event. Just like it’s easy to volunteer, or join a team, or take a mission trip, and really love what you’re doing while missing the real guts of the experience.
The “circus” in those experiences happens when when folks take the risk of becoming authentic servant leaders, taking ownership and investing in the success of others. That kind of humble sacrifice creates the sort of deep, long-lasting relationships that satisfy at the heart level.
Those relationships are the main event.
Let’s not stop at riding bikes, serving meals, building schools. Let’s not settle for doing the important stuff that’s only the parade. Let’s invest in people and relationships.
Let’s not miss the circus.