The Danger of Curiosity: Ouch!

One of the bridges in Belgium

I get it honestly, it's in my genes! All of my silliness and weird behaviour were inherited... Okay, maybe some teeny tiny part comes directly from me, but not much! (Why are my kids rolling across the floor in laughter? What did I do this time?)

My dad learned at an early age that curiosity kills the cat. Or, more literally, the monkey! Monkey hunters in Africa will take a coconut and cut it in half. They will carve a hole in one end, just big enough for a monkey to put his paw through (Or do monkeys have hands? I'm confused!), then they will put a delicious smelling orange in the other half. Next, they fasten the two halves together and hang the "bait" from a tree. All they have to do next is wait!

Soon an innocent monkey will come swinging by, and when it smells the orange, it stops in its tracks. Curiosity will then take over, and it won't be long before the monkey sticks its paw/hand in the coconut. Once it has its prized possession in its grasp, however, the monkey can no longer withdraw its hand/paw! As it hangs there, struggling to remove the orange, the monkey hunters will throw out a net and catch it red-handed. Literally.

My dad heard this story as a teen, and he couldn't help but wonder if such tactics would also work on humans. Are humans as curiosity prone as the monkeys in Africa? One day he leaned out over a bridge, staring intently at something in the aqueduct below. He refused to let anything distract him.

Soon an innocent passer-by passed along (that's what passer-bys do, isn't it?) and strangely enough, he stopped in his tracks and leaned out over the bridge as well. "What's up boy?" he asked. "What are you looking at?"

My mischievous dad answered: "Look over there! You won't believe it!"

Curiosity then took over, and soon there were two people hanging over the bridge staring into the aqueduct below. Only mud could be seen! That's when my dad would drop a heavy stone from the bridge, skilfully aiming it right for the mud pile. It's amazing how a stone can cause mud to shoot into the air!

Then, before the passer-by had time to realize what had just happened, my dad was gone. If he chanced looking back over his shoulder, he would have seen that the face of the upset stranger was covered with black, sticky mud! Indeed, humans are quite curiosity prone!

I certainly learned something from this story: Never stop to look at what a youngster is staring at over the railing of a bridge! You never know what's up his sleeve!

Curiosity always leads you into a trap, and some of them can be deadly! The worst kind is the one that leads to a life of addiction. Was it worth it to give into your curiosity?

"But I just wanted to try it out!"

Remember: The monkey also wanted to try it out, and now he's no longer around to tell us about it. As for the passer-by who was introduced to my mischievous dad-to-be, I never heard from him either!

"The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust." (James 1:14 The Message)

Instead of using human curiosity to set deadly traps, may we learn to use it to attract people to the One who really cares for each one of us! No tricks involved. Instead people will discover a life of true freedom and love! Addictive chains will be broken and inner peace will reign!

"It was soon news all over Ephesus among both Jews and Greeks. The realization spread that God was in and behind this. Curiosity about Paul developed into reverence for the Master Jesus." (Acts 19:17 The Message)

Would you like an orange? I think the hole in this coconut is large enough for your hand!

Rob Chaffart

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