There’s a fable circulating on the Internet about how to catch a monkey. A gourd is hollowed out and an opening is made just big enough for a monkey’s paw to fit through, and a few nuts are placed inside. The monkey reaches inside to grab the nuts, but when his fist is clenched around the nuts, it is too big to get it out of the hole. It doesn’t dawn on the monkey that if he lets go of the prize he can get his hand out. The monkey can cabe picked up along with the gourd.
I think of all the pot-luck dinners I’ve attended while working in the church. Staff, out of courtesy, would always to last through the line. As we waited, we’d see plates overflowing. Often, when we’d get our turn at the table, there would be only residue of the food left.
I’m greedy sometimes too–especially when I buy the extra large bag of popcorn at the theater. I’ll share it while thinking, “Buy your own.” I’m also greedy about non-tangible things–time with those I love and for doing what I love–writing. I feel there isn’t enough time in a day.
If my greed is allowed to consume my life, I too, as Solomon’s proverb says, will “destroy community.” So, if you attend a movie with me, I promise to share my popcorn.
Lord, help us live without being selfish and greedy. Amen.