Early in my life, my parents were missionaries in Uganda, East Africa. Our nearest American neighbors lived 300 miles from us, so my brother and I became very creative in entertaining ourselves.
One of the perks of living in Africa was that we had a pet monkey. We named him Monk-Monk.
Monk-Monk was determined that we was part of the family and we had some interesting times with him over the 3 years we lived there.
Monk-Monk loved our family and he also loved jawbreakers- you know, that good old-school candy. From time to time my brother and I would get some jawbreakers as a treat and Monk-Monk would love to share in our stash of jawbreakers.
Unfortunately, Monk-Monk couldn’t tell the difference between jawbreakers and marbles. My parents would remind us that when we played marbles we had to be careful not to have the monkey in the room. There were a few times that Monk-Monk found our marbles and that’s when the fun began. Monk-Monk would grab a handful of marbles and jam as many in his mouth as he could thinking he had hit the jawbreaker mother load. My dad and mom would have to pry his jaws open and remove one marble at a time to avoid having him choke himself to death.
I laugh whenever I think of Monk-Monk. Over the years, I’ve found that Monk-Monk’s story provides great insight in so many areas of our life.
Just as our monkey was confused about the difference between marbles and jawbreakers, many of us mistake marbles for jawbreakers when it comes to what we want out of life. We think we know what’s going to bring us joy or pleasure or success only to find out in the end that we chose marbles instead of jawbreakers.
I’m reminded of the story of King Solomon in the Old Testament. His father, King David, was fast-approaching the end of his life and was leaving control of his country, the world power at the time, to Solomon. God visited Solomon and asked him what he would like God to do for him and Solomon asks for wisdom.
Solomon understood that “marbles and jawbreakers” could often look alike and he asked God for help discerning the true path he should take as a king.
The Bible says that if we lack wisdom, we can ask God and He will give it liberally. Pray for wisdom and direction daily. God is pleased with that request and he will grant it. Discernment is crucial in our lives. Let’s learn the difference between marbles and jawbreakers. Lessons from Monk-Monk.