Words of Worth

“I Wish That I Had….”

March 2, 2012

If Dr. Suess were still alive, he would be 107 today. In case you missed that bit of news, I only knew because my 5th grade daughter went tearing through the house last night trying to find her stuffed elephant Horton, from “Horton Hears a Who”. But if she had forgotten, the parking lot attendant dressed as the Cat in the Hat would have clued me in this morning when I drove to the elementary school.

My favorite Dr. Suess book (written under the name Theo LeSieg) is “I Wish that I had Duck Feet”. It’s a fanciful tale of a little boy who just longs to have an extra special feature that would make him different or stand out in the crowd. He starts with duck feet, considers a whale spout, ponders a long tail, and even tries on an elephant’s nose. But for all the advantages each one of these attributes bring there’s a disadvantage. After all if he actually had an elephant’s nose, his dad would surely make him wash the windows or the car! The rhymes from this book are still stuck in my head and it may be because like that little boy, I had a teacher named Miss Banks. When he has the whale spout, Miss Banks thanks him for keeping the “school so cool”.

The narrator’s problem resonates with us no matter what our age. If we are willing to admit it, sometimes we have a longing to be special, to be noticed – to be unique in our abilities and talents. It seems that when we look around at what others can do and start comparing, we fall short on our own measuring scale.

But how does God see us?

In the first chapter of Philippians, Paul tells the church in Philippi, this great and encouraging truth.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

Comparing ourselves physically or spiritually with others can be a real Joy Taker. Although there is a common master design – we are all fearfully and wonderfully made (see Psalm 139:14), our individual designs are diverse and varied. He gifted each one of us in a way suited for His purposes. Once we submit our lives to Him, He will continue perfecting or completing His plan. We may look around and get a little frustrated or impatient. We may even be tempted to try out some duck feet or a whale spout but they won’t “fit” for very long. At the end the book, “I Wish that I Had Duck Feet”, the little boy realizes it is best to be himself.

Perhaps we should consider that thought but join with it this prayer: “Lord, you made me in your image, You designed me with intent and purpose. You have plans for me that only I can accomplish. Help me not to focus on what I perceive as my “have-nots” but to trust You to finish the good work you started in me.”

A simple truth from a children’s book can be a real Joy Maker! (CT)

Happy Birthday, Dr Suess!

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