Monday, July 26, 2010
Lessons from Horton
Sighed Mayzie, a lazy bird hatching an egg:
"I'm tired and I'm bored
And I've kinks in my leg
From sitting, just sitting here day after day.
It's work! How I hate it!
I'd much rather play!
I'd take a vacation, fly off for a rest
If I could find someone to stay on my nest!
If I could find someone, I'd fly away--free...."
Then Horton, the Elephant, passed by her tree.
And so Horton's journey begins. In this Dr. Seuss classic, Horton Hatches the Egg, Mayzie leaves the care of her only egg to a one-ton elephant, Horton. She then flies off on a never-ending vacation. Despite many obstacles, Horton proves "faithful, one hundred per cent."
The message packed in this book isn't just for children.
I constantly find myself drifting toward Mayzie's mindset. I'm tired of the work I've given myself, frustrated at the writing that just isn't flowing from my fingertips to my computer, or bored at the sometimes monotonous job of being a stay-at-home mother. And my oh my, do I have more than a few kinks in my legs from that ten-mile run yesterday. Mayzie, I hear you, girl. I could use a vacation, too.
Yet when I read this story with my kids, it's not Mayzie I long to be like--it's the big old elephant. Horton stands firm in the promise he's made to Mayzie. If Horton is this faithful to an irresponsible bird, how much more should I be faithful to God, my family, and the desires He has placed on my heart?
The root word of faithful is 'aman, meaning believe. Believe in what? I suppose that depends. Horton believed in his promise. I choose to believe in God's promises and His blessing upon my life. But blessing doesn't always pour out unimpeded. It requires a lot of work and prayer, and maybe a little wrestling. That's right, I said wrestling.
When Jacob wrestles with God in the book of Genesis, God bestows a token of blessing upon him in the form of a name change. He renames Jacob, Israel, roughly translated "you never give up and always believe God's promises." The blessing didn't just come, Jacob had to work for it. He persevered.
Wrestling is not a sport for wimps, and surely not a sport for birds like Mayzie. Like Jacob, I think many of us find ourselves wrestling a blessing from God. Are we up to the challenge? Are we willing to persevere? Surely our rewards will be great.
What was Horton's reward? I won't give it away, but I will tell you that something very surprising was in that egg!