Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Monkey Trap

I recently watched an old documentary about instinct verses intelligence in primates. The show noted that chimpanzees were highly intelligent. However, even though they could make rudimentary tools to achieve certain things, instinct still ruled them.

Scientists placed a treat inside a cavity with a small opening. The monkey could smell the treat and knew it was good. He reached in and grabbed his treasure only to discover that he couldn’t get it out. The monkey’s closed fist was too large to get through the hole again. All he had to do was let go and he’d be free. But he couldn’t do this. He wanted the treat. He tried forcing the treat through the hole. He tried shaking it and yelping, but nothing worked. He became oblivious of any potential danger. He didn’t even realise he was trapped.

We too rely on instinct. We hold onto things and refuse to let go. We worry and fuss. We stick to our hold habits rather than following God’s way. We think we know what's best for us and pursue the wrong goals. In our stubbornness, we become oblivious to the danger that arises whenever we do anything without God.

This is why we must learn to let go of the worldly things. We need to learn to listen for God’s direction, and allow Him to carry us along the right path. This is a thing to be practiced, with daily reminders through prayer and fellowship. The more time we spend with God, the more His desires become our desires, and the less we rely on instinct.

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