Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The Monkey Trap

Now I have to warn you, if you read Glenn Teal's blog (that I have linked on my blog) this will be quite repetitive, but I thought this was a very interesting story and I wanted to help spread the word. This past Sunday @ CrossRoads (my home church in Michigan), Glenn (the lead pastor) told a story at the end of the service - it went something like this:

Hunters hollow out a gourd and fill it with sweet rice leaving only a small hole of monkeys to get their hand and arm into. When they close their fist on the food the monkey's fist is too big for the hole and it cannot escape without letting go of the food. But monkeys are too greedy for the food to let it go and therefore they get caught.

Then he asked everyone to demonstrate their commitment to gain freedom from the love of money by taking coins from their pockets or purse holding them in their fist and then dropping them on the floor. Then he said they would use all the coins left on the floor to pay for a new church building in our mission work in India. Everyone dropped coins in unison all over the church. What a blast! After everyone left there were teams of 4th and 5th graders picking up the money. Not only were there coins -- there were dollar bills and 10s and 20s. They are still in the process of counting all the money, and the last time Glenn updated his blog it was over $1,000.

I found this very interesting seeing how I have just recently began to turn my finances over to God. Seeing that I just graduated in April I used to use the excuse (or justification) that I was just a student and I didn't make much so it wasn't like I would be able to give much anyway. Now that I am out in the working world, that has changed. I started journaling about a month ago, because I am trying to strengthen my relationship with God (and I often feel like I am just rambling when I pray and lose train of thought easily, so I figure writing it down will keep me on track, as well as I will be able to go back and look at answered prayers and whatnot). The first entry that I made was about handing over my finances back to Him. I know that you hear, if you give to God He will give back, but that's not why I am doing it. I am doing it because I want to be someone who makes a difference. I want to help others when they are in a time of need. I want to be support for those out in the world being the hands and feet of the Lord. Whenever I leave this earth, I want to be able to reflect on the work that has been done in the Lord's name because of something that I have helped with. I am not saying that I am giving a ton, but I now realize that every little bit helps.

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