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Thursday, June 23, 2011

LET GO!



          Sometimes when I am in a hurry to get back in my house after running an errand, I will grab my purse, grocery bags, packages, mail or whatever it is that I’ve gone after, while also holding my keys in my hand.  What happens?  My hands are too full to use the keys to unlock the door!  I have the key but no way to use it until I let go of the other things in my hands.  It is funny how we try to hold on to so many things or try to handle everything.  This experience when I am in a hurry should be a life application for me.  What is intended to get me inside faster only slows me down.  If you can relate, you are free to say a hearty “amen or oh me” at this point!

          Years ago I read about a trapping method of a certain tribe in Africa.  There were certain species of monkeys that they desired to trap.  (Why? I can’t imagine and probably do not want to know!)  First, the natives would hollow out a large gourd and cut a hole just big enough for the monkeys to stick their hands in.  Next, they would fill the gourd with various kinds of nuts, fruit and “treats” that the monkeys liked to consume.  Then they would sit back in the brush and wait.  Once the curious little creatures got a whiff of the aroma of this delicacy, they would stroll over to the gourds, stick their hands in and grab as many of the treats they could to take back to their home.  If a monkey could talk he would probably tell us how foolish it seemed for these humans to just put all of their special treats right out there in the open for anyone to grab!  Not so, Mr. Monkey.  You see, these curious little creatures were more curious than wise.  And they were more greedy than practical.  Once their grubby little hands were full and they we were ready to head back to their home with this treasure, something strange happened.  Their full hands would not fit back through the hole in the gourd!  But being the greedy “critters” they were they simply would not think through the importance of simply letting go of the nuts and fruit.  The natives had learned how to capture their prey without a fight or struggle or hunt.  

          This story sounds ridiculous but sadly is true for human “critters” too.  We set out trying to reach our goals, pursue success, acquire wealth, live a good life before God, bless our family, and help our community or whatever it is in our hearts and minds to do.  The problem?  We have “things” we hold on to.  Those things might be relationships that aren’t meant to be, habits that weigh us down, attitudes that blind us, traditions that chain us, trinkets that distract us or fears that cripple us.  But we are in a hurry to get to where we are going so we drag them along, holding tightly to them.  Oh we have the “keys” in our hands, but we have all of this other “stuff” too.  So when we do approach those doors to walk into our “destiny”, our hands are too full to turn the key!  The answer is so simple - “let go!” The “enemy” of our life and well-being also captures his prey without a fight, struggle or hunt.  He simply sits back and waits.

          I have a favorite passage of scripture that talks about not getting weary and giving up.  When we hold on to too much, try to drag too much along with us, it becomes heavy, we feel trapped, we get weary, bogged down, stuck.  We don't have to live this way.  Listen at this.  “... Strip down, start running—and never quit!"

          What is it today that is keeping you back?  Holding you down?  Locking you out?  Open up your hands, your heart, your soul, your mind and let go!  God has given us all we need.  It is up to us as to whether or not we find the freedom to turn the key and open the door….  Let go!