Monday, December 10, 2012

Hand in the Monkey Jar

You have probably heard the story about how to catch a money, right? If you put something a monkey wants into a jar that is fixed in place, the monkey will reach in to grab it. The trick is to make the opening of the jar big enough for the monkey's hand to go in, but small enough so that when the monkey's hand is full, he cannot pull it out. The way the story is told is that monkeys are so blinded by their desire for things they want, they cannot figure out that by letting go of the desired object in the jar, they will be able to escape capture.

Apparently, monkeys are too stupid to let go of self-serving desires, and the result is that they become enslaved by their pursuit of those desires, and the refusal to let them go even when it means the loss of the life of freedom they were intended by God to live.

There is just one problem with this story.  It's a bit of an exaggeration.  Monkeys will in fact do this, but they quickly learn that by letting go of the object, they can avoid capture.  So the hunter has to move fairly quickly before the monkey figures it out.  Monkeys are not as dumb as they are represented as being.  But there is one other mammal that is.

There is one creature on this earth that will not let go of the objects of their desire.  There is one animal that will hold on even when it becomes clear that to do so is going to mean capture and loss of the freedom their kind were meant by God to enjoy. Anyone want to guess which creature I am talking about?

May you find the wisdom to be smarter than a monkey.  May you find the freedom to let go of misplaced and self-serving desires.  May you learn to live with less stuff and live in the full range of freedoms that God designed you to enjoy.  May you not become a slave to finances, objects, experiences, achievements or reputations.  May you walk in the freedom that is yours in Christ, valuing the things that matter like community, friendships, family, authentic faith and worship, and by grace, sharing your faith with those who may be far from God.

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