Peanuts in a Jar

Sometimes in life we face situations that feel like the rug has been pulled from underneath us. Often times, by the people we least expect. These situations require prayer and advice to know what is the best course of action. My husband and I are lucky to have older and wiser people in our lives to turn to for this type of advice. One of them shared this story with me:

A monkey sat in front of a jar full of peanuts. The peanuts were still in the shell, the kind you buy at the baseball game. The jar was broad at the bottom, but had a narrow neck. Just narrow enough that the little monkey could fit his hand and arm down into the bottom to grab the peanuts. Now, the monkey, being a monkey, was greedy. He wanted as many peanuts as he could possibly grab. So he slipped his hand and arm into the jar and tightly grabbed lots of peanuts from the bottom of the jar. His tight fist was full of peanuts and he felt happy! Of course, now, his hand was stuck because his fist was quite large and he could not bring his hand out of the jar. This infuriated the little monkey who began to scream and jump around. He felt trapped and didn’t know what to do. Finally, he LET GO of the peanuts and was free of the jar.

Three lessons I learned from this story:

1) Sometimes in life, it is hardest to know when we have to let go. It is in our nature to hold tightly, but that doesn’t always serve us or others around us well.

2) Being greedy can lead to other bigger problems.

3) If you stop and ask wise counselors for advice, they may show you a whole new way of looking at the problem. The monkey could have easily taken the jar and turned it upside down, thereby getting a peanut, just one peanut at a time.

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