What's Your Star?
The sneetches with their snoots in the air, they'd sniff and they'd snort, wanting nothing to do with the plain bellied sort.
"Ronald, remember when you are out walking, you walk past a sneetch of that type without talking.
Keep your snoot in the air and remember to snort, we will have nothing to do with the plain bellied sort!" said his mother.
Twink, twink, twinkle, lovely little stars. Twink, twink, twinkle, stupid little stars.
"You can have a star, too, you just have to pay three bucks," exclaimed a peddler.
So all the sneetches who did not have stars ran into his star-making machine to get their false star. A red truck built like a mini factory on wheels pressed out stars on the starless bellied sneetches.
Then the initial star bellied sneetches invited themselves into the lives of the newly starred bellied sneetches, why, they were the authority on starred bellies after all.
The latter sneetches looked on in amazement. "We are the best sneetches because we had them first.
We are still the best and they are still the worst!" But they had a dilemma because they couldn't tell each other apart from the other.
The guru came back with a guarantee to the original star bellied sneetches that would allow for a come back in their superiority.
"Belly stars are no longer in style. Here is a stars off machine!" exclaimed the guru.
"Just pay your ten bucks."
A fight broke out for superiority among the sneetches until they ran out of money and energy. The guru packed up and left town with his pockets filled with money.
Left with nothing but each other, the sneetches agreed that they had squabbled long enough about their differences and that any thing that made them superior was only their love and acceptance of each other where they were at in their own sneetch life.
( The Sneetches, by Dr. Suess quoted verbatim in some spots and paraphrased)
Sounds oddly familiar, doesn't it? A silly story with moral truth that could be applied in all sorts of ways. Something that comes to mind immediately when I read this story is the fact that there are so many different denominations and churches and people divided up into these neat, little, exclusive groups in Christianity. Each one offering a clearer picture of truth than the other or a better atmosphere or a way of doing things in this Christian life that may be more superior than the other. The fast track of having things all figured out in this world seems to go on and on, when truly there are some things we just don't fully know or understand and never will here on earth and the best thing to do is just admit that fact.
The attempt to bring clarity to things that still do not seem clear even after much prayer or scripture study can be never ending in these neatly divided circles. And so much is missed when the wrong things are emphasized. And worse, much spiritual abuse ensues as the unclear gets elevated above clear. The basics of love, understanding, respect, kindness and real truth get lost under the guise of setting ourselves apart from our true brothers and sisters in the pursuit of the unclear. Reworded and redundant, but worth repeating...
We hang onto what seems good to us no matter how much we must bypass the basics of true Christianity to observe our beliefs or standards in the world of the unclear. Dr. Suess was a genius of silly, but such truth is found in this humorous story of the made up world of sneetches.
I think the sneetches finally decided to stick to the things they truly knew for sure or what they truly wanted to pursue together here on earth. They were all sneetches. They all came to an agreement that they would love and accept each other where each one was at in their journey, probably for better or for worse. Or so I would like to believe.
So, what do we know? There is much that is perfectly and absolutely clear in the the word of God. All I say, is that we do not override what is clear to pursue what is not. The Spirit of Christ guides each true and free believer in Jesus and each one uniquely and differently, on such a plane that cannot be compared with any other. We know that the world will know that we are His disciples if we love one another. And what does love do? I Corianthians 13 will give you a run down of what love does. It believes all things, suffers long and is kind, does not envy, boast, or puff itself up.
What's your star? What unclear thing are you holding onto for answers, answers you will never find on the earth? Held on to like a toddler will hold a dead cockroach in his hand like a prized jewel, ready to be eaten in ignorance. What unclear standard do you hold high above loving or showing kindness and mercy? Let Jesus purge you of these idols. He can and He will, if you let Him. Throw your hands in the air, give up and say, "I don't know, I just don't know!" Then with reckless abandon observe all that is abundantly clear to you as you draw close to the Holy Spirit and read the word of God with fresh, untainted eyes. Or maybe you have never known the real Jesus. You are invited to enter the realm of His loving forgiveness and grace and mercy today. It's never too late to realize that your religious deeds won't save you.
And let all those unclear, irrelevant, religious stars be shattered and purged from your soul forever and let there be love for your brother and sister and love for the God of your new life or your renewed life...so you can truly be free.