Oh the Places You'll Go!
Have you ever read the book “Oh the Places You’ll Go” by the incredible Dr. Seuss? If not, stop reading this and go get a copy of this amazing piece of literature. If you have, then I’m sure you remember the great encouragement given throughout. For example...
“Today is your day! You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!”
“Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.”
“And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)”
“Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way.”
But, the real life advice comes in the pages between the above quotes, where we are reminded that sometimes we “won’t”... (see what I did there?!? Yes, I love me so Suess talk… anyway…)
In John 16:33, Jesus tells us “In this world you will have trouble.” Not that we might or its possible, but that we will. Dr. Seuss refers to these troubles as silly rhymes, but the truth of life is still there.
“I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-Ups and Hang-Ups can happen to you.”
“You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch. And your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in a Lurch.”
“And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.”
“All Alone!” Whether you like it or not, Alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot. An
So how do we deal with the Bang-Ups and hang-ups? The lurches and slumps? The waiting places and the face pace races? And the times we are scared out of our pants?
In Isaiah 40:28-31, we are reminded “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
In other words, we don’t try to tackle the trials of life on our own! We turn to the Heavenly Father that created us and let Him raise us up on eagles wings and give us His strength.
But the Lord doesn’t stop there! Jeremiah 29:11-13 tells us “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
God has a plan for you! And guess what, it's a GREAT plan, a plan to benefit you! But how do we know the plan? How do we know what “mountain is waiting”? We pray! We seek after God with our whole heart. You see, we don’t need to know the whole plan, we just need to cry out to the God of the Universe, the everlasting God, and follow His lead, wherever that might take you! Trust that He’s in control. Trust His plan!
And when the world throws those promised “troubles” your way, when it tries to tell you you aren’t good enough or your past disqualifies you, remember this, we are not defined by who we were or where we have been, but by the Savior who redeemed us and the Lord who calls us by name! Finish the verse in John where Jesus tells us about those troubles! The above is just the first half of John 16:33. In the second half, Jesus tells us “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” In other words, we aren’t alone! The same Jesus that conquered the grave has our back!
In closing I leave you with one last thought, my favorite Dr. Suess quote of them all…
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where you go.”
But here in the challenge I issue to you, decide to go where God leads and you’ll never be on your own. Use those brains you were blessed with and the feet that He created to follow His word and the Hang-ups and Bang-ups of this world won’t have anything on you Sister! -Elizabeth Kroner