There is a joke that I think is not only funny, but all too true of most of us.
“A little boy was looking around his grandmother’s living room, and got his hand stuck in a very expensive – family heirloom vase. His mother and grandmother tried everything they knew to get his hand out. Liquid sop round his wrist, warm water, ice, nothing worked. They took him to the hospital ER, and asked if they could get his hand out. They tried pretty much all of the same tricks to no avail. At last, the ER nurse said, “I think we will have to break the vase.” With tears in her eyes, the mom says to the child, “son, this is the last try, then we will have to break the vase. Point your fingers as straight as they will go, try to make your hand and wrist as small as possible.” The child looked at his mother with a look of complete all knowing. “But momma, if I do that, I’ll drop the penny.”
I think in part that is what the scripture is about. Defining our value system, to choose what is actually most important, allows us to live in abundance. In our humanness, we are often short sighted, holding on to the small while sacrificing that which is actually valuable. God wants us to live in the abundance and joy of life. To be wise in our choices; what is actual of valuable: the vase or penny – short slightness or abundance. Choices, Choices, Choices: chose the abundance of joy and love.