I can’t get the little boy from the local news this morning out of my mind. He wanted a gum ball and tried to get it by putting his hand through the mouth of the gumball machine. Of course he was able to grab a gumball, but his hand became stuck in the process. In his state of sticky distress entered the firemen, paramedics and the media!
What I keep replaying in my mind is the scene where a very patient man is helping the child remove his hand. He keeps showing the child that he needs to stretch out his fingers so the hand will slip out of the machine’s opening. However, the smart little two-year old knows that if he stretches out his fingers he will have to let go of the gumball!
We may not be two years old, but we experience the same troubling encounter when we refuse to let go of the stuff that binds us. We hold on to what we want and will not let it go even if it traps us. Some of the stuff is as harmless as a gumball, yet holding on to it too tightly restricts us in some way. Some of the stuff we cling to is harmful and handcuffs us to a life that is unhealthy physically and spiritually.
No one wants to go through life dragging around a gumball machine. It is not a very freeing thing…but we do it. We drag our habits, our idols, our vices, our opinions, our arguments, our sins, our addictions through life only to have a patient God try to show us the way to freedom..the way to let go.
Letting go can be as easy as letting out a deep breath; but many times it is very hard and you find yourself having to pry and pry and pry your fingers off the beloved object. At other times you let go, but you come back to take a hold of it again and again. No matter which situation you are in, God has to help in the same way those who surrounded the young child helped him.
Only God can help us recognize what is in our sweaty clutch. Only God can help us find true freedom….freedom from the gumballs of life.
CHECK OUT THE NEWS VIDEO BELOW OF THE GUMBALL KID!!!http://www.fox10tv.com/dpps/news/strange_news/boy-gets-arm-stuck-in-gumball-machine-ob12-jgr_4167797