Friday, March 1, 2013

A Few Life Lessons

   Tomorrow is the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, known by most as Dr. Seuss. Generations of kids learned to read, rhyme, and remember verse using his books. It's interesting, as I've grown older and reread some of his work, passages of scripture come to mind. Dr. Seuss taught us many life lessons; I'd like to share a few I've learned.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who'll decide where to go. (Oh, the Places You'll Go!)
    Oh, the Places You'll Go! is probably my favorite Dr. Seuss book. Several of the graduating seniors I've known have received copies with Bible verses included on almost every page from me. The above quote reminds me of  Proverbs 16:9 and Deuteronomy 30:19. We always make so many plans, but God has the ultimate say in them. It's so much better when we see where He is working and join Him. He always gives us the answer: Choose life!
Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you! (Happy Birthday to You!)
   This quote reminds me of the importance of being who God created you to be.  The verses it brings to mind are Psalm 139:13 and  Jeremiah 29:11. From a very young age I knew I was suppose to be a teacher. As I grew up I was discouraged and told by well meaning teachers that I needed to use my brains and be a doctor or something besides "just a teacher." (Really? You want people without brains teaching?) I seriously thought about changing my major, but God (during a spiritually and emotionally draining experience) reminded me He had created me for a purpose an with Him by my side I would succeed. Teaching for 28 years, I have seen God's guidance and provision many times. Now that I'm retired, God still confirms that my future is in His hands. 
Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
      There's been some dispute on if the above quote can be attributed to Dr. Seuss. Regardless, it's a good quote. It makes me think of Romans 12. The Message version says it beautifully:
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
    I've learned that my identity is found in Christ. It's not something for Sunday mornings and Bible studies. My everyday, ordinary life is my identity. Who I am is who I am everywhere all the time. I try to recognize what God wants from me and not become well adjusted to my culture. I say what I feel with love and work at mercy, grace, and forgiveness. I thank God for the precious people He puts on this journey with me; they help and encourage me along the way.
    These are only a few of the Life Lessons I've learned. If you haven't read a Dr. Seuss book lately, pick one up and see if you don't lean something. If you haven't picked up your Bible in a while, you might want to give it a try, too. 

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on your retirement. Hope you are settling comfortably into your "new normal" and that you are continuing to do well.


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