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Lessons from Monkeys

Here's how you trap a monkey:  secure a dried, hollowed out gourd to a tree and place a piece of fruit on the inside of the gourd.  What happens is that a monkey will reach his hand into the gourd, grab tightly to the fruit, only to find that the hole is too small to get his clutched fist out through it.  Of course, the monkey doesn't realize that if he'd simply let go, he could be free.  This practice is used in some Asian cultures to capture monkeys to eat.

I'm reminded of the importance of surrendering, letting go, being willing to give up the transitory for the sake of the transcendent. Jesus said,  "If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give it up for me, you will find it" (Mt. 10:39).  Many cultures and religious traditions have wisely associated surrender and sacrifice with redemption and renewal.

Its so easy to fiercely clutch those things that are important to us.  I know I'm capable of holding onto something so tightly that I can miss the bigger thing that could occur by letting go.

I visited the National Cathedral in Washington DC and took this picture. Interesting how a piece of carpeting could speak so clearly to me...God uses the most unsuspecting things at times!  Anyways, the imagery reminds me that only if a grain of wheat dies, will it eventually produce bread just as grapes can't produce wine without losing their identity as grapes (Jesus's words, from John 12). Being willing to let go can be what allows for the "more" that God may want to bring.

“What are you willing to give up to ensure your own unfolding, and the unfolding of what is holy in your life?” (Gregg Levoy, Callings)

1 comment:

  1. It's so true, Tracy. Well named! I think some people tend to let go too soon and others wait too long before letting go. Hmm - I wonder if it about getting the timing right or if the grip itself is the issue. Thanks for prompting a thought process.

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