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For as long as I can remember my dad has boasted that he could hypnotize a chicken. Now why that would be something to be proud of? I’m not exactly sure, but he was! He would tell the story over and over again each time I brought home a new friend. He’d even tell it to total strangers. Somehow it seemed he could fit it into the conversation.

Supposedly, it’s very simple. (Kids, please don’t try this at home!!!) You lay the chicken’s head on the ground, draw a straight chalk line from it’s nose out about a foot, and magically the chicken is totally entranced, lasting most times less than a minute.

I love Hot Tamales! You know, Hot Tamales, those little red jellybean-like cinnamon flavored candies. I love them. This love affair is also a carry over from my childhood. My mom and I used to eat Hot Tamales together on a regular basis. In fact, we still do. And did you know you can buy them in huge quantities at Wal-Mart? Not a good thing!

You may be wondering, what in the world does hypnotizing a chicken and eating Hot Tamales have to do with each other, much less anything worth writing about? Glad you asked!

Chickens aren’t the most brilliant of Gods’ creations. They’re fairly simple minded and it doesn’t take more than a silly chalk line for them to lose their will. We humans aren’t a whole lot different. A small piece of pure sugar can steal my devotion without any effort of its own. As they say, “One bite and we gotcha!” In both scenarios, at least for a moment, the chicken and I give control over to something outside of ourselves and we’re enslaved to its power.

Actually, this type of surrender is how God designed life our lives to work. Not that we would walk around entranced by chalk lines and cinnamon candy, but that control of our lives would come from an outside source. The problem is we’ve chosen false gods as that source rather than the one true God who comes from outside us to dwell inside us. Chalk lines or candy may not entrance or control you. Maybe it’s money, work, your children’s performance, the affirmation of others, love from a spouse, or even the car you drive that does it for you. Whatever the “god,” we seek for him, her, or it to meet our immediate need for comfort and give us escape from our longing, a for something much bigger beyond ourselves.

This year, I’ve stopped eating Hot Tamales. I love the taste, but they always leave me feeling horrible and empty. More importantly, I want to escape their “hypnotic” power and only surrender myself to the risen Christ within me. He is so much sweeter, much more filling, and offers His passion to steal my heart’s devotion.

What do your hypnotizing chalk lines look like? Whatever these artificial sweeteners are, they steal the true taste of life that can only come from your Creator. Instead of a bunch of hopeless resolutions and powerless promises to avoid hypnosis, why not give yourself to a greater source of love and life than you’ve ever imagined? You might be surprised at how much you’re attracted to His graceful ‘hypnotizing’ power and the taste of His authentic goodness.

Laurie Troublefield

About the Author

Laurie is a part of a wonderful ministry community in Woodstock, GA called, Grace Connections, Inc. where she serves as the Director. She is passionate for the church to know and live in the freedom of the lavished love of Jesus and the grace found in true community. She stays busy teaching conferences, retreats and Bible Studies both here in US and around the world.