Have you seen that “awareness test” on YouTube with millions of views? Two teams of basketball players shuffle around amongst each other in a small area, each team passing a basketball around. The two basketballs crisscross all over the screen as the teams, one dressed in white and the other in black, pass their team’s ball to their teammates. The “awareness test” is to count the number of times the white team passes the ball, and only the white team.
It’s a trick, though. As you intently focus on the white team’s passes, you miss something shockingly obvious. Someone in a bear costume moonwalks right through the crowd of players. You don’t notice until you watch it a second time.
We’re more easily fooled than we like to admit. Satan knows this. He wants to keep your awareness off of what really counts. (I’m referring to Jesus, of course, not the moonwalking bear.) I was reminded of how Satan works as I read Exodus 5:9. Pharaoh mimicked Satan’s strategy of distraction when he wanted to keep the Israelites from focusing on their desire to worship. “Make the work harder for the people,” Pharaoh said, “so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies.”
Sometimes Satan’s tricks aren’t blatant temptation but cleverly hidden distraction. Let’s pray for proper awareness. Lord, help us “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:1,2). Amen.