What’s your fist full of peanuts?

Posted: July 18, 2015 in faith based, religion, spirituality
Tags: , ,

Acceptance almost always involves letting go of something.  It may be letting go of a fear or worry, or an obsessive desire for a life situation to be different.

This article is an excerpt from, “Living at God’s Speed, Healing in God’s Time” by, Charles W. Sidoti

Living a life where trust is the guiding principle will ultimately require that we choose to trust.  I have noticed, however, that at those times when I have asked God to increase my ability to be trusting, the request is usually answered with increased opportunities for me to practice trust.  That really wasn’t what I had in mind.  I was assuming that God would answer by zapping me with more trust, after which I would suddenly live in a more trusting way, worrying less and relaxing more.  I am now convinced that it isn’t going to happen that way.

Learning to trust in God involves acceptance.  It means accepting things, people, and life in general, without always feeling that I need to change everything to the way I think it should be.  On the other hand, trusting God will always involve my participation.  Living with an attitude of trust is not a passive thing, where we sit back as spectators and think, “God will take of everything,” so we need do nothing. It involves living out the wisdom and balance of the Serenity Prayer, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Acceptance almost always involves letting go of something.  It may be letting go of a fear or worry, or an obsessive desire for a life situation to be different.  Or it may be a need for someone to respond to us differently.  I once heard a very helpful story about letting go.  The story posed this question, “How do you catch a monkey in India?”  It explained that the way people catch monkeys in India is to glue a baby food jar onto a stump or large rock, put a few peanuts in it, and leave the lid off. When the monkey comes along, wanting the peanuts, he slides his hand into the small opening of the jar. Grabbing the peanuts, he closes his fist around them. Once the monkey makes a fist to grasp the peanuts, his hand will no longer fit through the opening of the jar, so he cannot pull it out.  He is caught, and very upset.

What is so ironic in this story is how easy it would be for the monkey to free himself and go back to enjoying his life.  All he needs to do is simply let go of the peanuts. But he will not.

When I notice myself preoccupied with a desire or need to have something be a particular way, I reflect back on this story. I visualize myself like the monkey, with my fist in the jar, holding on to what I desire.  This imagery has helped me to let go of my particular desire and enjoy life again.  It sets me free.

Connecting Point:  What is your “fist full of peanuts?”  What are you holding on to today – that has you caught?  Try to imagine yourself letting go of your peanuts (your situation or desire) and moving on with your day in peace.

Prayer:  Lord, often I am so convinced about what I think I need. I have my fist wrapped tightly around a particular desire. Help me to loosen my grip and to eventually let go so that I might enjoy the inner freedom that comes with knowing myself to be a child of God.  Help me to desire that which will really bring me peace, and to trust that you will fulfill that desire in your time.  Amen.

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Read the Introduction: http://pastoralplanning.com/23rdBookParts/LivingGodsSpeed_Intro

  1. Thanks for the information. God, from now i pray to let go off my desires that hinder me from knowing you more. Amen

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