Distractions, Reminders

By Stacey Tuttle

“The idea of the girl with her maimed tongue frightens me.  She has reminded me why I’m here.  Not to model flashy costumes and eat delicacies.  But to die a bloody death while the crowds urge on my killer.”[1]

It was pretty overwhelming.  All the food, the fame, the costumes, even the general business of meetings and training and preparation…it was enticing and intoxicating.  It distracted Katniss from the real danger she was facing.

Katniss was about to have to fight for her life.  You would think that would be hard to forget, but the longer she was in “preparation” at the Capitol the more numb she became to the certain danger looming overhead, and the more accustomed she grew to the Capitol lifestyle.

I have heard that gladiators often faced the same kind of temptation.  They were slaves of the government, but those who continued to win gained a definite celebrity status.  They were the athletes of their day.  Everyone wanted a piece of them.  Even though they were slaves and forced to risk their lives for the entertainment of the masses, some of them, dare I say many of them, actually began to enjoy their life as a slave.  They became numb to the real danger they were facing because the life of a celebrity was so enticing.  Sure, they faced death, but the life they lived was lavish.  Food, training, women, popularity, etc.

Katniss began to forget just why she was there, being beautified and trained—but then there was a reminder.  This girl had tried to escape from the Capitol.  In fact, she and Katniss met before the Reaping and Katniss saw as the Capitol caught her.  She just didn’t see at that time what the Capitol did to her.

Here she was, face to face with that would-be-refugee who had her tongue cut out for her attempt to escape.  Now the speechless girl was serving Katniss—a daily reminder of the Capitol’s cruelty and that no amount of fancy food and clothing can make up for real freedom.  She reminded Katniss of why she was really in the Capitol—to entertain the people with her death.

The thing is, our lives aren’t so different.  We are in Katniss’ shoes more than we realize.  We have an enemy who is after our destruction.  He aims to keep us in captivity and use us to destroy each other.  His goal is to “kill, steal and destroy.”[2]  Of course, if we realized what he was up to, we might not be so cooperative; therefore, he does all he can to ensure we are enjoying our bondage.  He entices us with false promises of fame, distracts us with fine living, and busies us with activities such that we become enamored with our lives and even forget that there is a real battle going on.

Katniss found the battle easy to forget for a little while because it was still in the future.  She wasn’t yet in the middle of it.  We find it easy to forget the battle because it’s not flesh and blood, but “against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”[3]

Katniss had a daily reminder of the battle.  We need the same.  We need something to remind us that true freedom is better than any party, any clothing, any food…any lifestyle.  We need something to remind us that the battle is real, and the enemy is evil, and he plans to destroy us.  We need something to remind us that our lives aren’t just about us…that other people are at stake as well…something to help us take the battle we are in seriously.

What difference does it make? you may ask.  When you take the battle seriously, you train harder and you don’t let things distract you.  For the Christian, this means you study God’s word with purpose and you pray with diligence.  It means you work hard to bring freedom to others—to give them Jesus.  Jesus is the only way out of the Games.

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 

I Peter 5:8

Questions for Discussion: 

  • What distractions are most effective on you?
  • Where are you (or who are you) in this scenario?  Are you aware that you are in a fight for your life?  Have you been distracted by (or satisfied by) all the world has to offer?  Are you in captivity?  Have you found freedom in Christ?  Or are you maybe like the Avox girl who tried to escape, but found yourself in even worse captivity than you were before?
  • What things help (or could help) to remind you of the seriousness of the evil that opposes us?  Is it another person?  Is it something you have been through personally?  Is it some historical event?  Etc…
  • Do you know Jesus who comes to set the captives free?

Click here to read more Devotions inspired by the Hunger Games.

[1] P. 80

[2] John 10:10

[3] Ephesians 6:12