Last night at Toastmasters, the Table Topic was “Rhymes.” The Table Topics Master introduced many Dr. Seuss quotes and asked members to respond. When I picked #11 quote, this was the challenge for my two minutes of impromptu speaking:
I know, up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights. Dr. Seuss, Yertle the Turtle and Gertrude McFuzz
I began with a remarkably astute and ruefully humorous saying credited to the musical superstar, John Lennon – “Life is what happens between all your plans.”
There is a lingering lie out there that many people believe: that everybody else’s life is better than theirs – that everyone else is living “on top and seeing great sights” – when truth be known, most of us spend most of our days, living “down at the bottom”, in the muck and mire of life.
Life is messy and no one will convince me otherwise. Life is not a straight line. We may have great plans but life has a way of showing up and changing everything, doesn’t it? If we are honest with ourselves, we know that our life lines look more like this:
There are some mountain top experiences for all of us and when we’re there, we need to dance and sing and wave our arms but nobody stays on top for long because no matter who you are, life is difficult – the pain just shows itself in different ways, at different times, with different people. Dr. Henry David Thoreau once said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” It’s a sad truth for those who don’t life passionately for Christ.
Dr. Seuss is right – we all have rights. We have the right to examine our lives and make decisions that cause us to think well and live victoriously. When we believe in Jesus, we become a new creation – we no longer conform to the patterns of this world but we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. (Romans 12.2)
When the spirit of God is flowing through us, we can “see great sights” wherever we are.
If we allow our feelings to govern our behavior, worry, anxiety and fear become our unhealthy coping mechanisms and eventually, everything breaks down.
Breaking down isn’t such a bad thing – it feels like death but actually, it’s a breaking up of false beliefs and lies…and with that, comes life, health and hope. When we surround ourselves with God, who IS truth and wise, loving people who SPEAK truth, the healing process begins.
Nobody needs to be at “the top of the world”…but everybody needs Jesus.
Safe in the Lord – Psalm 91. 1-16 CSV
Those who go to God Most High for safety
will be protected by the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “You are my place of safety and protection.
You are my God and I trust you.”
God will save you from hidden traps
and from deadly diseases.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you can hide.
His truth will be your shield and protection.
You will not fear any danger by night
or an arrow during the day.
You will not be afraid of diseases that come in the dark
or sickness that strikes at noon.
At your side one thousand people may die,
or even ten thousand right beside you,
but you will not be hurt.
You will only watch
and see the wicked punished.
The Lord is your protection;
you have made God Most High your place of safety.
Nothing bad will happen to you;
no disaster will come to your home.
He has put his angels in charge of you
to watch over you wherever you go.
They will catch you in their hands
so that you will not hit your foot on a rock.
You will walk on lions and cobras;
you will step on strong lions and snakes.
The Lord says, “Whoever loves me, I will save.
I will protect those who know me.
They will call to me, and I will answer them.
I will be with them in trouble;
I will rescue them and honor them.
I will give them a long, full life,
and they will see how I can save.
There is no panic in Heaven. God has no problems, only plans. Corrie Ten Boom