My son has always loved monkeys. The first time that he saw curious George, he was hooked! From that point on, everything was full on monkey. To this day he has a monkey collection of stuffed animals and truly enjoys all things monkey. The only thing I didn’t understand was the trip to the monkey zoo. In Santa Ana California there is a monkey zoo that is 75% monkeys! It has all types of different monkeys from all over the world. For some it for some inexplicable reason though, he just wasn’t in the monkey mood that day! My brother-in-law and I traipsed him all over the zoo. I do wonder, perhaps his idea of monkeys was more important to him than the actual monkeys. It does seem so to this day. I do recall from my childhood having a certain affinity for a dog named Scooby Doo. I did love my dogs that I had, but compared to Scooby Doo (in my childhood mind), it just wasn’t as personal.
Regardless of our embedded ideals, there is an age old concept or adage for monkeys that we all know. We are all familiar with the proverbial “monkey off your back”. We may say variations of the phrase, depending on context and usage. Generally speaking, this points to a weight placed on us. Some sort of pressure or responsibility in our life or the immediate circumstance. We will even help them mount the monkey on our back! In my avid sports fan-ism, I have heard the phrase many times. It usually refers to some achievement not yet accomplished like winning a championship or a certain game/defeating a certain team. A prime example, for instance, was when Lebron James had yet to win a championship. He was highly accomplished, physically freakish, and everything but a world champion. A few titles later, that monkey has long been buried!
Whether it’s work, relationships, or sports… We are all able to see these pressures. A good and well-meaning person will sometimes take on false burdens from other people. Thinking it helps the other person, and adding even more weight to their own! There are other shifty characters yet who will shift the responsibility to others whenever possible. One will do it because of laziness, another because of the ability to do so, and others still just trying so hard to alleviate the pressure. The Word of God is very clear that we are to bear our own burdens. We are wired to be in balance.
Whether you believe in God as I do or not… People all around your circle can and will put monkeys on your back. I haven’t found it in my experiences to be all or none, put more on a case-by-case basis. For us who believe, we seek answers for clarification from God. All of us though should ask good questions to our self. I think each of us has been in a situation feeling like “I am putting lipstick on someone else’s pig!” People will sometimes question your heart because you don’t want to fall in line with their proposal.