The fish and the Cat!
Which voice will you listen too?
Life lesson from Dr. Seuss’ book The Cat In The Hat!
“He should not be here, ” said the fish in the pot. ” he should not be here when your mother is not.” ― Dr. Seuss
In the bookThe Cat In The Hat. It’s a rainy day and Sally and Conrad are bored. A cat who just so happens to be wearing a Hat walks into their home making a mess of everything. As soon as the cat walks in the kids are forced with a difficult decision. Should we let him stay or make him leave? Meanwhile their pet fish is trying to convince them that the cat should not be there. The fish is encouraging the kids to make the right decision by making the cat leave. Which voice will Sally and Conrad listen to? I like to picture Sally and Conrad as you and me. I picture the cat in the hat as the bad influence on one shoulder and the fish as the voice of God on the other shoulder. The fish is Jesus encouraging the kids to make the right decision while the cat in the hat is OK with pushing Sally and Conrad down the wrong path. At the end of the story The cat in the hat cleans up his mess and disappears before Mother gets back. The mess is covered up and mother will never know unless Sally and Conrad tell her. After reading this story to Ellie I am left with a powerful question; what voice will I respond to when faced with difficult decisions in life?
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them. And they follow me.” John 10:27 NLT
This is such a silly example. However, when I was in 5th grade we had this group of girls who bullied one specific girl in our class. One day, I saw them take her purse from her desk when she was out of the room and stick it in the trash. They tore paper out of their spirals and covered the purse in the trash so that the girl would not see it. I remember sitting on the edge of my seat, faced with the choice to do the right thing or ignore the situation altogether. I knew what the right thing to do was but I had another voice saying…
“It’s not your problem!”
“You didn’t do it.”
“It’s not your fault they don’t like her!”
“If you help her they might bully you!”
This voice was the voice I wanted to listen to. It seemed like the easy way out. However, I knew the other voice. The familiar voice. It was the voice of God and it was the voice I knew to be right. His voice made my stomach turn because I knew listening to it would be difficult but worth it. His voice was difficult to respond to but I knew it was right. This voice, God’s voice told me to go grab the purse and put it back in her desk. So I did! I rushed to the trash can. I pulled out the purse. I put it back in the desk. It was the hardest decision I had to make in the 5th grade. However, I knew it was the right choice. The girls gave me the death glare. Back then that glare terrified me to walk home. I knew my life was over. However, that decision I’ll never regret.
I’m sure you are facing much more challenging decisions in your life then my 5th grade problems with girl bullies. I sure have!!! There have been moments when I have chosen to listen to the wrong voice. I’ve made some huge mistakes in my life because I didn’t listen to what I was hearing from God. I am so thankful for a God who can see past my failures and still put me where He wants me in life. Listening to God’s voice is not always easy. His voice is right though! I Honestly believe we know the difference. In some way, we know when we are listening to the voice of God or following the voice we so desperately want to be right. I want to leave you with this…
Three ways we can hear His voice!
1. Through His word!
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” 2 Tim 3:16 NLT
2. Through Prayer!
“And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. A nd since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.” 1 John 5:14-15 NLT
3. Through conversation with other believers!
“When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.” Romans 1:12 NLT