Not My Circus; Not My Monkeys

Psalm 131

“Lord, my heart is not haughty, Nor my eyes lofty. Neither do I concern myself with great matters, Nor with things too profound for me.

2 Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, Like a weaned child with his mother; Like a weaned child is my soul within me.

3 O Israel, hope in the Lord From this time forth and forever.”

I travel a lot. I’m a traveling salesman.  And I know all the jokes, so don’t bother.  I work out of my home, because the nearest division office is a solid 12 hour drive from here.  I work in isolation as do the rest of the people on the team.  I have a corner office that gets about 31mpg; window in front, windows on both sides.  I sit in the corner.  Front left.

We all have very large geographies to cover, so we all have a fair amount of windshield/butt time. We often call each other to kill some miles as we drive.  We compare notes on business conditions in our territories, the latest product problems, home…pick a topic.

I was having one of those conversations with one of my favorite guys who lives in California. He’s got a great sense of humor and a refreshingly pragmatic approach to life and the job.  Last week he’s talking about some fiasco that affects him, but he has no control over.  He quipped, “Hey, man!  Not my circus…not my monkeys.”  I thought that was about the funniest thing I’d heard in a bit.

By the way, all of our cars have Blue Tooth/hands free phone operation. Push one button and tell sweetie pie who to call.  My phone doesn’t even have to be out of my bag.  Still, if I’m in traffic, I either don’t answer or beg off a call when things get…interesting.

Not my circus. I have to smile.  Then I’m reading my daily devotions, and Psalm 131 is the day’s assigned Psalm.  I read it and think; that sounds to me like David saying, “Not my circus, not my monkeys.”

Between having too many wives (that’s’ more than one), too many concubines (that’s more than zero…zed to any Canadians out there), and very revolting sons (take it in what sense thou wilt), he had plenty of his own monkeys in his own circus. He knew, however, there are other circuses that he had no effect on.  He did not concern himself with “great matters” or things “too profound” for him.

Once he learned to let go and let God (there’s an oldie but goodie), life got much easier.

“Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, Like a weaned child with his mother; Like a weaned child is my soul within me.”

Doesn’t that sound…cozy? A nice fire in the fireplace, a cat or two stretched out in front of it, a full belly, and a child asleep on his mother’s breast.  *yawn*

That’s how it gets when you “…hope in the Lord / From this time forth and forever.”

So, when the monkeys are driving you ape-$^!+, just remember to see if they’re yours in the first place. If not, well, contented sigh…

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5 thoughts on “Not My Circus; Not My Monkeys

  1. So important to remember. It reminds me of one of the business management books out there about not taking someone else’s stuff on or you’ll be taking a monkey on your back. Written by Blanchard and Spencer, I think.

  2. Amen amen amen! What great wisdom. Thanks for this Jeff. You’re right-those monkeys aren’t ours to worry about. Also-fun fact: “monkeys” was the word I got “out” on in the 2nd grade spelling bee haha– dang ies/eys 😂😂 seriously though. Great piece.

  3. Pingback: In This Corner | Jeffrey H. King's Blog

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