Jude, my 1 year old, has an affinity for acorns. I don’t know what it is about those little brown nuts that pique his interest, but whenever we go outside he immediately begins to scan the horizon for them. He’s becomes a little hoarder and tries to collect as many as he can in his little grubby paws. I watch and laugh as he insecurely juggles them all.
Before this strangely cold weather hit Dallas recently, I was outside with the boys almost every afternoon. One day, Jude went on his normal acorn hunt and came across a jar that one of his brothers left outside the day before. All the critters they’d captured had gotten out, but a solitary acorn remained. Immediately, Jude became a miniature version of Sherlock Holmes. He closely investigated the best way to get his trophy out, and settled on working his hand into the narrow opening of the jar. He fixed a firm grasp on the acorn. With his hold firmly in place he tried to remove his rounded fist but couldn’t. His fist was too big.
I watched him struggle for while. Then went to help when I saw frustration setting in. His face was getting red. His voice was starting to raise. I tried to explain to him that if he’d just let go, I could pour the acorn out of the jar and get it back to him in a way he could enjoy. He would hear none of it. He just wouldn’t let go.
For the next little while, I watched my son walk around with a glass jar attached to his arm. His playtime was hindered and his enjoyment hampered simply because . . . he wouldn’t let go.
“Those who cling to worthless idols forsake faithful love,” the prophet Jonah wrote. (Jonah 2:9)
And he certainly knew a thing or two about how it feels to walk around with a jar attached to you. He’d hung on to his own goals, ambitions and comforts and lost everything because of it – almost losing his own life. Finally, coming back to his senses, he realized that whatever idols he was grasping weren’t worth the faithful love of God he was foregoing.
He decided to let go, get sweet release – and journey onward with God.
It’s your turn to do the same.
You’ve gotta be tired of carrying around that jar.