Let go, experience joy

They were thinking of breaking the vase when the father said, “Now, my son, make one more try. Open your fist and hold your fingers out straight and then pull your hand out.” To their astonishment the little fellow said, “Oh no, daddy, I couldn't put my fingers out like that, because if I did I would drop my penny.”

In Africa, certain tribes catch monkeys in a similar way. They put peanuts in small holes in trees, the holes are just enough for a monkey to close its fingers together and put it in. The monkeys grab the peanuts inside, but with their hands full, the hole is too small for them to get their hands out. Desperate for the peanuts, they are finally captured by the tribes while they struggle to get their hands out.

Breaking an expensive vase for the sake of a penny or holding on to the peanuts in the tree holes is like blocking the greater joys of life God has for us, for the sake of petty possessions.

There are people who possess all the wealth and luxury one can dream of, but do not experience joy in their lives. There are people who hardly have any material possessions, but live each day joyfully.

Many of us are holding on to several things so much that we cannot get out from where we are. When we cling to our seats of power and position, name and fame or when we hold on to our possessions or become possessive of people and things, we prevent God from taking us further.  

If we are not willing to lose sight of the shore, we will never explore new oceans. God wants us to detach ourselves constantly from everything that prevents us from experiencing the fullness of joy.

When Jesus promised joy and abundance, he did not speak of material abundance, because he possessed nothing. He said: “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11). “I have come that you may have life, and have it in abundance.” (John 10:10).

To Jesus, joy in life could come only through an unconditional trust and dependence on God and not in the material things of this world. Mathew left his money at the tax collectors office in pursuit of this joy, Peter James and John left their fishing nets and boats on the shore to experience this joy. What are you holding on to?

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