I read an ancient Chinese story the other day that sounded a lot like the kind of parables Jesus used to teach his lessons.
If you want to trap a monkey, hollow out a cocoanut just big enough for its open hand to reach inside. Place rice in the carved-out fruit, and leave it in the path of the monkey. Sooner or later, a hungry monkey will smell the rice and reach its hand in. But once fisting the rice, its hand will no longer fit back out through the opening. The monkeys that get caught are those who won’t let go of the rice, and as long as the monkey maintains its grip on the rice, it becomes a prisoner of its own making. The trap works because the money’s hunger is the master of its reach.
I’ve been that monkey in many different situations throughout my life. With my hand fisted in the cocoanut I can’t for the life of me figure out why I could reach in, but can’t pull it back out. So, I too have become a prisoner of my own making because I can’t see that what I want the most is holding me back and until I let it go, I won’t be able to see the actual freedom it creates for me.
I keep thinking it has something to do with the story of I’ve been trying to write since I was a teen. And I do feel as if I’m chained to it in a way. No matter how many times I try to let it go the hunger to finish it comes back. So, as I’m thinking of this lesson of the monkey I can’t get the thought out of my mind that maybe it’s trying to tell me something about letting go of this want and desire. Then the clarity comes to me. What lies within my fist are the words of my story and as long as I hold onto them I’ll remain a prisoner of what I actually believe will never be accomplished.
Now I could have never come up with that kind of answer without sieving my thoughts through the spirit of God.