The Kayfabe War

Kayfabe is a wrestling term that derived from “carnival talk” for the word “keep.”  It means “top secret.” This term refers to the practice of maintaining the illusion that wrestling is 100% genuine (Urban Dictionary).   I grew up watching wrestling. It was so exciting to see the “heroes” and “villains.” My friend and I would practice matches with chairs and clothes lines (a pro wrestling move where the wrestler puts his arms straight out to the side and knocks over the opponent). I remember we were practicing a chair move while our moms were cleaning the church. Right as my friend went to “hit” me with the chair, the pastor’s wife came around the corner and man, did we get an ear full. Apparently, we had done a good job because she thought we were really fighting!

After we explained to her what we were doing, she was intrigued, so she let us hold a “match” for the parents. My friend paid me to take the loss. The match was to end with my friend hitting me with a devastating clothes line. All was going well, that is until the clothes line. I miss-timed it and he actually caught me with the clothes line in the throat. As his sister, the ref, counted me out, I laid there trying to gather my breath. I was fine, but boy did it hurt.

Over the years I have marveled at the amount of people that major wrestling businesses are able to keep on edge with the sway of their emotions. Now with internet, people know wrestling matches are fake, although many wrestlers are really injured from miss-timings like mine. Still, the masses hinge on every move and become emotionally tied to the story.

As I have pondered this over the years, it reminds me of another kayfabe war. It is the war that many of us fight every day. We react to our circumstances, don’t talk to family members for years, and even lose best friends all because of kayfabe battles. Yes, the actions are real and keep us emotionally strung out, but the actions are all due to an underlying force. These actions create emotional tolls, psychological and physical injuries – some that last a life time, and some that cost people their lives.

Unfortunately, like wrestling, all this carnage is orchestrated by an unseen power. For wrestling moguls, there are writers – but for us, there is an adversary who goes to and fro seeking whom “he” may devour. (I Peter 5:8)  Whether if you are aware of it or not, you are in a war. And don’t think for a moment that, if you ignore the war going on, you won’t become a casualty.

Jesus stated, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). We need to have our spiritual eyes open and recognize who our real enemy is. It is not our neighbor, our relative, or the guy who cuts us off while we are driving. Our enemy is not even the people in government. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

It is the same for us spiritually.  We are fighting the real war. If we are focused and vigilant in warring against the forces of darkness, we will begin to see that many of the natural fights we face are actually shrapnel from the real battle we are in. When we choose to start fighting the kayfabe war, then we become lost in the emotion and frustration of it. We need to guard ourselves against these distractions. When I served in the 101st Airborne, the Army helped take care of the home front while I deployed. This benefited the Army and me by minimizing distractions so that I would more likely make it back safely. It takes awareness of what is around us and discipline to train ourselves for this spiritual war.

“… I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified” (I Corinthians 9:26b – 27).