Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Life Lessons from Dr. Seuss: Confessions of a Plain-Belly Sneetch

Now the Star-Belly Sneetches 
Had bellies with stars. 
The Plain-Belly Sneetches 
Had none upon thars.

Those stars weren't so big. they were really so small. You might think such a thing wouldn't matter at all.

But because they had stars, all the Star-Belly Sneetches would brag, "We're the best kind of Sneetch on the Beaches.

With their snoots in the air, they would sniff and they'd snort, "We'll have nothing to do with the Plain-Belly sort." 

To be honest, up until last weekend, I had never heard the story of the Sneetches, Star-Belly or otherwise. It’s the story of a group of, well, Sneetches. Some have stars on their bellies; those are the totally cool Sneetches. They have parties. They laugh. They play games and go to BBQs. They don’t invite the Plain-Belly Sneetches. The Plain-Belly Sneetches are not cool.

I am a Plain-Belly Sneetch. I have been a Plain-Belly Sneetch my whole life. I was the last one picked for games like dodge ball. I suppose my small size had something to do with that.  But even though I was one of the best spellers in the class, I still got picked almost last.  I didn’t get invited to parties. It was okay. I preferred to read books in my bedroom. Or draw pictures. Or play the piano.

I did wish I could be a Star-Belly Sneetch and have lots of friends and get picfa
ked for teams. I did wish I could be cool. And popular.

But I didn’t want to give up my books or my music or my solitude.
And so I sat on the sidelines and wished I was just a little different.

Even at church, I existed on the margins. And that continued even when I got older. I was everyone’s favorite volunteer, but I didn’t have friends.

I wondered why. Why was I so alone? Why did God make me a Plain-Belly Sneetch?
In the midst of my loneliness, God reminded me that I wasn’t the only Plain-Belly Sneetch.

There were others just like me. People who saw themselves as Plain-Belly Sneetches. People who felt alone and left out.

And so I began to reach out. To invite and include Plain-Belly Sneetches to have fun.
And then I seemed like a Star-Belly Sneetch including some people and not others.

And that’s when I realized that there’s not that much difference between Star-Belly and Plain-Belly Sneetches. We’re all pretty much the same. We’re Sneetches. And we need all kinds of Sneetches.

In Romans 12, Paul acknowledges that we’re all a little different and he cautions followers of Jesus Christ not to take themselves too seriously, not to consider themselves more important than they actually are.  He says, “For in the same way that one body has so many different parts, each with different functions; we, too—the many—are different parts that form one body in the Anointed One. Each one of us is joined with one another, and we become together what we could not be alone.”  In other words, we need each other.

God has made us and gifted us uniquely.
God made prophets and servants and teachers.
God made encouragers and leaders and givers.
God made people who are merciful.

And no matter what our gift is, our gifts came from God.
We need to use them. Humbly. Faithfully.

And whether we are Plain-Belly or Star-Belly Sneetches, God made us. And we need to love each other.

The most important thing is love. For God and for all Sneetches. 

For more Life Lessons from Dr. Seuss, check out Newbreak Church's sermon series titled Whoville.

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