Worship and Participation in the Sacraments

Don’t be a Monkey

Four monkeys were put into a room.  In the center of the room was a tall pole with a bunch of bananas suspended from the top. One particularly hungry monkey eagerly scampered up the pole, intent on retrieving a banana. Just as she reached out to grasp the banana, she was hit with a torrent of cold water from an overhead shower. With a squeal, the monkey abandoned its quest and retreated down the pole. Each monkey attempted, in turn, to secure the banana. Each received an equally chilly shower, and each scampered down the pole without the prize. After repeated drenchings, the monkeys finally gave up on the bananas.

With the primates thus conditioned, one of the original 4 monkeys was removed from the experiment and a new monkey added. No sooner had this new, innocent monkey started up the pole than her companions reached up and ranked the surprised creature back down the pole. The monkey got the message-don’t climb the pole. After a few such aborted attempts, but without ever having received a cold shower, the new monkey stopped trying to get the bananas. One by one, each of the original monkeys was replaced. Each new monkey learned the same lesson. Don’t climb the pole. None of the new monkeys ever made it to the top of the pole. None even got so far as a cold shower. Not one understood precisely why pole climbing was discouraged, but they all reached the well-established precedent. Even after the shower was removed, no monkey ventured up the pole.

Christ has commanded our participation in the Sacraments, prayer and gathering with fellow believers. Some of us have been taught/told by our elders not to do that…for some reason…do you know why?

I know this. Christ is good and if Christ commands something of us, it is good for us.

Be good. Don’t be a monkey.