Here’s an old story about how to catch a monkey in Africa we can glean from. All an African had to do was build a Plexiglas box and drill a hole in it just big enough for the monkey’s arm to get through. Then they would place a banana inside the Plexiglas box underneath a tree. The monkeys would come to investigate.
The monkey would reach in through the hole and grab the banana with his hands. But, as you can imagine, when the monkey wants to get the banana out of the box, it won’t come. A banana won’t fit through the hole. The problem is the monkey won’t let go. The monkey’s gotta’ have that banana. The monkey is free but what he is hanging on to is enslaving him. All the monkey must do is let go.
Well, you know the rest of the story. The monkey won’t let go and the African has monkey stew that night. That monkey’s business went out of business.
There’s a lesson for us from this monkey business. Let go of the banana! During my many years of ministry, I have counseled great people who wouldn’t or couldn’t let go of something they needed to let go of. They wanted me to counsel their banana. Some thought they had a demon and wanted me to cast out their banana. Some wanted me to inner heal their banana by taking them back to their childhood.
To be honest, most times what they needed to do was let go of the banana. I couldn’t let go of their banana for them. Only they could let go of their banana and that’s difficult for many of us.
For everything there is a season. There is a time to not let go and a time to let go. Speaking of monkey business, sometimes we need to persevere, hang on, and fight like we are the third monkey trying to get into Noah’s Ark. But other times, we need to let go. We give up so we can go up. There is a time to accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be.
Here’s something I found someone wrote entitled Letting Go
that might help us. It’s about personal responsibility. It’s about the way we deal with ourselves and others. Maybe it will even help us get past the monkey business of holding on to a banana that is robbing us of joy. Apply the statement that applies to you.
“To let go doesn’t mean to stop caring, it means I can’t do it for someone else. To let go is not to cut myself off, it’s the realization that I can’t control another. To let go is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences. To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands. To let go is not to try to change or blame another, it is realizing I can only change myself.
"To let go is not to care for, but to care about. To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive. To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being. To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their own outcomes. To let go is not to be protective, it is to permit another to face reality. To let go is not to deny, but to accept.
"To let go is not to nag, scold or argue, but to search out my own shortcomings and correct them. To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes. To let go is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future. To let go is to fear less and love more.”
Remember that song entitled, Let It Go
, a few years ago in the movie Frozen
. The main character was frozen in the past. She had to let it go to let it go. When she did her self-esteem was better. Her relationships were better. Her domain was better. She went from the outhouse to the penthouse.
Isn’t amazing what a banana can do in the hands of a monkey? When you let it go, you let God go too, for your benefit and in your behalf.
Ed Delph March 4, 2019 CCC
Dr. Ed Delph