Stay away from every kind of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:22 NLT)
On a recent mission trip to Costa Rica, we had a day to do some sight-seeing. I chose to go on a walk through a cloud forest.
The trail was linked by 5-foot bridges; picture miniature “Golden Gates” for foot traffic. These bridges cross valleys about 180 feet above the valley floor and are 250- to 500-feet long. Some of them have trees growing to the height of the bridge deck.
Now it just so happened that I was walking alone for a while on the trail, which means any wildlife around is less “spooked” by masses of humanity being noisy on the bridges.
OK, this is all to set the stage for my “monkeys moment” on a bridge.
As I stepped on to bridge No. 4, low and behold, a troop of at least five Mantled Howler monkeys was moving on to the bridge from the opposite side. (I got some great close-up pictures.) From 150-feet or so, the monkeys look kind of cute, even playful. They were not trained monkeys, they were not there to put on a show; they were using the bridge as the easy way to get in the tree tops to feed. Choices were being presented to me: Approach the monkeys as they traveled on the bridge cables; or stop and wait to see what they would do.
Did I mention that they look cute at a distance? They are the biggest monkeys in South and Central America, up to 2-feet tall plus 2 feet of very strong tail, weighing in at up to 22 pounds or more, with very good dental equipment — they are capable of doing some damage if they feel threatened.
Now, in reference to the Bible verse above, do not misunderstand; I am not implying that the monkeys are evil, they’re just monkeys. It takes people to give in to evil. The monkeys on the bridge simply brought to mind the bridges we all cross in life.
Sometimes there is something in our path that looks cute, looks like fun, but up close can tear us up, or climb on our back and slowly wear us down. We are presented with choices; it is in our best interest to wait until the monkeys jump off the bridge.
Written by Larry Bertsch
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