Sunday, September 7, 2014

Catching Monkeys

Source
It is said that the way to catch a monkey is to take a coconut, cut a hole in it and place a pebble inside the coconut.  The monkey will see the coconut, place his hand in the coconut and grab the pebble. But then the monkey can not leave because he now has to figure out what's important - the pebble or the coconut. And so in his distraction he becomes easy bait to be caught. (I don't know how true this is, as I've never ventured to catch monkeys, but the premise makes for worthwhile discussion.)

Sometimes, we are like those monkeys. We hold on to things that we think are important and forget the bigger picture. We get sucked in by wanting things and then those things take a hold of us. Things like: placing a premium on getting a dream job; sending our children to the best schools; buying a car or a house; or a relationship.

When we finally get these things we hold on to them so tightly, and before we know it, we are not enjoying life. We're also in a position to be distracted and to be caught. At this point, we hear and interpret things differently. For example what used to be, "education is important and we will do our best to ensure our kids receive the best with what we have to offer." now becomes, "education is the most important thing and nothing matters but sending my child to an ivy league school."  What used to be, "this job is the next step in my career because I really enjoy what I do," now becomes, "I'm here and I don't care what I have to do or who I have to hurt to keep this job." Our thinking becomes warped the longer we hold on to the pebble. The coconut has more value than the pebble. The coconut can be used to sustain us and help others. The coconut wasn't meant to trap you but the bait inside the coconut was, and so many of us take the bait.

How about we open our hands and let the pebble go; just let it go because it's not as important as you think it is and if you really want a pebble you can get it outside of the coconut. When you put things in their proper perspective, a pebble is just a pebble.

Monkeys like humans are smart, but sometimes we do things that are to our own detriment. We focus on things we want that are so little and inconsequential instead of focusing on bigger things.  For me the bigger things are always about increasing my faith by trusting in the One who made all things. When tempted to take the bait, He gives me the wisdom, the insight and the foresight to let go of the pebble. In that moment of letting go I know that I won't be bait for anyone and I won't be a monkey that gets caught. You can still enjoy all that God has for you without it becoming the priority in your life.

19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. Matthew 6:19-21 (NLT)



Have you taken the bait? What are you holding on to?



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