Metal Rings, Wedding Rings and Other Things
One of the first things I do, if possible, when I sit down in an auditorium or worship center is unhook my chair from the rest of the row. Sometimes the seats are just too close together. This morning was no exception as I settled in for Sunday morning service. After the announcements, greeting, and music the pastor began speaking and while listening, following along in my Bible, I also began fiddling with the metal fastener on the side of the seat beneath the cushion. I’m not sure how it happened but my ring finger on my left hand became stuck in the metal loop.
At first I wasn’t worried. I figured it would come out with a little finagling. I moved it to the left, to the right, wiggled it, twisted it, bent it, squished it but no luck. Then I began to panic. I leaned over to my wife and whispered; “My finger’s stuck.” She gave me a quizzical look and I repeated with more emphasis; “My finger IS stuck!” Her eyes grew wide. I tried a few more times and it was still a no go. Then, I had an idea. I handed her everything I was holding and reached under the chair and slid my wedding ring off. Once it was gone I tried removing my finger again and success! The finger was red and sore but no permanent damage done. “Let’s not do that again” said Beth. “Not a problem.” I smiled.
As I reflect on the moments of being stuck and getting unstuck I thought about a story of how hunters catch certain breeds of monkeys. The trap is simple. Place a piece of fruit in a box with a hole just big enough for the animal to slide it’s hand in. However, once the animal grabs the treat it can’t pull it’s hand out the tiny opening. If it let go of what it was holding it could escape but that doesn’t occur to the monkey. Refusing to release its grip the monkey
seals its fate.
Oftentimes in life we’re trapped, stuck because we aren’t willing to give things up, put things down, let go, release our hold of things which actually have hold of us.