On a recent trip to extend our visa, we went on an excursion of sorts. On the way, our driver announced that we were going to stop and feed the monkeys. Excuse me, what?, I thought. You probably think that sounds like fun, right? Well, please don’t imagine a zoo with cute chimps playfully swinging on vines, jumping around, and sticking out their tongues for laughs. Nope. We’ve had experience. These are free roaming and aggressive monkeys. Something more like Planet of the Apes. They are completely unafraid of people and will grab your bag, your phone, or anything else they can get their hands on. Why are we doing this again?, I wondered.
Pulling off the road, I immediately saw dozens of monkeys sitting on a fence and strolling around a parking lot. An older man was there with a large bag of leaves. He encouraged us to take some. Okay, I’ll play along. Grabbing a big handful of leaves, I reasoned “They seem harmless enough. How bad can it be?” Suddenly, I was surrounded by swarming simians all screeching, jumping, and grabbing at the leaves. I was shocked at how quickly things were out of my control, if I ever had control. Before I knew it, I had a monkey on my back, one on my shoulder, and another one on my head! They’re incredibly strong, and all of them were grabbing at the leaves in my hands. More and more monkeys came and gathered around us in a feeding frenzy. Then, as soon as all the leaves were gone, they lost interest and scattered. It ended almost as quickly as it had begun. Well that was fun and terrifying, I thought.
Thinking about it later, I realized I had learned a powerful lesson. Like those monkeys, sin can seem harmless and fun. We convince ourselves it’s not a problem. We’re in control. Until we realize we’re not and perhaps never were. Before we even know how it happened, we discover we’ve got a “monkey” on our back, on our shoulder, or on our head!
The experience brought to mind a verse of scripture:
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” Galatians 6:7-8 NKJV
So, the moral of the story?: If you don’t want a monkey on your back, don’t feed the monkeys!
Apply where needed.