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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Fists of Freedom

My Grandfather used to say “God can’t bless you with your fist balled up”

I was a young teenager struggling with the challengs of youth and the pain of my first heartbreak when he provided this glacier of wisdom. As I floundered in the grip of reason, trying to understand why a relationship that I invested my heart into just wasn’t working out and how I could make it work, he offered this quote and thankfully… illustrated it this way for me.

“Thomas, hold out your hands” he said and I did. He pulled out his old rubber change pouch, the old school kind that you squeeze in your hand on both ends and it opens up from the center like a baby bird’s mouth looking for a meal. He dug through it and found two of the worst looking pennies that he had and put one in each of my hands. “Now squeeze these as tight as you can” he said, and I did, as hard as I could. He then went into his billfold and took out a $100 bill, and as my eyes grew like inflating balloons, he reminded me to keep a tight hold on those pennies. He began to drop the $100 bill onto my clinched fists, each time it obviously fell to the ground and he would pick it up and try again. After about four tries, he looked at me with love and simply asked “ you understand?”

After a pause of deep thought, I had a true “ah-ha” moment, I finally understood that as long as I was clinging onto those worthless pennies, I could not receive the $100 bill he was trying to gift to me. Just as, while holding on to a relationship with little value, I was not able to be open to one that had exponential value. As I continue to live and learn with these words abounding in my mind and heart I understand a little more.

There are two major times that most people find their fists “balled up”. One is in anger or defiance and the other is typically clinching on to something tightly. In either scenario, usually, God can’t bless you until you decide to release your hand so you can receive His gift. So you see, while your fist is "balled up", you are causing the perpetuation of your own misery.

As we begin this new year, ask yourself what are the “pennies” in your life? Is it anger at someone or some event that happened recently or maybe long ago, that has you wrestling with unforgiveness? Is it a stagnant relationship with a person that has you bound, clinging to their indecision? Maybe it’s your stubbornness, the inability to apologize or accept an apology that binds you as you grip tightly to tethers of pride. Whatever the case, this year, don’t make a new year’s resolution have the new year’s revelation that there is a blessing waiting on you, if you will just release your "penny" and receive it. Don’t maintain your own frustration; you have the choice to let those worthless things go. Once you do, you open up the ability to increase the value of your life. Be blessed.


  1. Your grandad must have been a very great person. You were lucky to have him in your youth. Thanks for sharing...

  2. There is a lot of truth here. You can always tell those who cling on to unhappiness essentially because they are simply never or rarely happy. As I reflect on my past relationships though... they didn't work out for whatever reason, but even my worst relationships had some level of worth or lesson involved.

  3. yup!! lol that's cool lol how ur Grandfather did those little ridddle-games to help you understand a lesson..that's fun. :)nice blog! love ya!


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