Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What the Cat in the Hat Teaches Us About Temptation - Part 6

Hooray! The "cat" is finally gone! He packed up those "Things" and he took them away!

In case you have missed the previous Cat / Hat posts, we have been looking at the children's classic tale The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss to see what it has to teach us about temptation. What makes us vulnerable to it? What happens when we don't reject it at the start? How does giving in to begin with allow things to get out of control? Finally, we saw that all the warnings in the world cannot kick out the "cat" until we engage our will in the process. If you haven't read the other posts, you can find them by clicking these links.

Let's see what happens now that the "cat" is gone.

Cleaning Up

OK, so the "cat" leaves, but there still is a major problem.  The house is a wreck.  Lives are in chaos. To quote the fish:

“This mess is so big and so deep and so tall.
We cannot pick it up. There is no way at all”

If we choose to let the “cat” stick around in our lives, we are ultimately responsible for the resulting mess.  Depending on how long we allowed the "cat" to stay, and how many "Things" he brought with him, that mess may be enormous. We may have lost much that is precious - family, job, health, dignity, joy, etc. We are responsible for the mess, yet we are unable to put things to rights on our own, no matter how hard we try.

At this point, Dr. Seuss’s story ceases to have any parallel whatsoever to dealing with temptation and it’s consequences in real life. In the story, the cat himself came back and cleaned up the mess he and his pals had made.  He cleaned it up so well that the kids’ mother had no idea anything had actually happened.  In real life, the Tempter NEVER comes back to clean up his messes. 

That is why we need Jesus.  He was, in fact, active all along.  He was speaking to us through the voice of the “fish” in our lives, through our own conscience and the warnings of others. He was the one backing us up when we finally took a stand to kick the “cat” out. He is the only one who can ultimately restore our lives, and bring order out of the wreckage.  

Some of the things we allowed the "cat" to destroy may indeed be gone forever. Other things that seemed to be a hopeless mess may be marvelously put right again. Either way, Jesus is more than able to restore us to a life of joy and peace in spite of those losses.

We cannot do it alone, although we do have to be actively engaged in the process.  No one can do it for us, although others may support us as restoration takes place.  We may be able to make some progress on our own, but ultimate, full restoration cannot happen apart from Him.  

The beauty of it is, Jesus is more than ready and willing to help us.  He constantly and earnestly invites us to allow Him to come in and begin the work of restoration that only He can do. 
So what have I learned from the Cat in the Hat and the Fish in the Pot?  Three things:
  1. Listen to the “Fish” when he sounds the alarm that something is wrong.
  2. Kick out the “Cat” whenever he shows up.  Decide ahead of time to do this.
  3. Invite Jesus to live in the “house”. With Him there, we never face the "cat" alone.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
John 10:10


What about you?
As we finish this series, have you learned anything new that might help you keep the "cat" from sticking around to begin with?

Do you find yourself longing for a "house" free of the "cat" and the chaos he causes? Have you looked at the mess and realized it is too big for you to clean up on your own? If you have questions about inviting Jesus in to restore your "house" and live there, please feel free to email me. My email address can be found on my About Me page. I'd be more than happy to hear from you.


  1. Wow Julie, you are just cranking these out! Another fine installment. I like the use of the "thief in the night" parallel to the cat.

    I noticed that you, like me, started blogging in July. Are you just trying to get tons of content on your website to drive up traffic? Or do you really enjoy getting one of these out everyday? I know I do a little of both. But I've kind of burned out my audience whenever I do more than 3 posts in a week. People have a hard time keeping up with their lives, let alone people's blogs. My advice is slow down. Let each blog age a little, get it's due hits, and then move on. If you feel the urge to write everyday, put it into another book, or do some social media promotion. This process we are in, is difficult, and writing good words/good posts and hardly getting seen, because you replace them the next day, is a shame. The links are there, obviously, but I've found they don't get much traffic.

    I think maybe you should collect all your Cat/Hat blogs and work them into a short lesson story/novella, and sell them really cheap as an ebook. I'm planning on doing that with my Dale stories. I'm not emotionally attached to my Dale stories, like I am my novel, so giving it away for free to "Lure" a potential agent/publisher seems like a reasonable way to get some cheap publicity/notoriety.

    1. That sounds like some good advice, Chris. I've tried to do one pretty much every day for the last 2 months because at the beginning, I read that if I want to break into the writing field, I need to write regularly. It seemed that the blog was a good way to make sure I had something to write FOR. It is hard to sustain, though. And you are right about links not getting much traffic.

      A few posts have been pulled in from material I had already written from long ago. A couple were lifted from the "Things I Have Learned From my Little Girl" portions of my newsletters. Two are chapters from my ebook "From Captive to Conqueror".

      The Cat/Hat series was not actually written this week. I was exhausted one night a week ago and browsed my "Creative Efforts" folder in my computer for something I could use. I ran across a 3-page essay that I had completely forgotten about. Yea! That should be good for 5 or 6 posts! And it was. I had to tweak them, but didn't have to start from scratch. Putting them into an ebook is a great idea.

      Anyway, I think I might keep the one-a-day up through the end of this month ... just to say I did. Then next month, back off a bit. I'll still write each day, but save the extra posts for times when I am away. I have some travel to do in late October, so building up extras in early October will hold me over.

      Thanks for the encouragement. I'm wondering if you might like to bounce some ideas for new series' around in cyberspace? I have a few in mind and would love some input.

    2. Good morning ka,

      I am so happy for sharing and encouraging us. I would like to copy your posting and keep those in my flasdish and really want to read for understanding more about it. i haven't read all these parts. i am trying to have the time for reading those posting. I am so happy that God uses your hands, thought, idea and everything you have for helping the others. i am blessed for it. God loves you so much.
      I am sorry for not using my blog address because it's not used anymore. there is some that i want to edit and change but the password and id had been forgotten.

      Yohana B.

    3. Hi Yohana,
      I'm so glad you are enjoying the posts, and I understand that you need more time. I hope school is going well for you. I miss you. Are you coming to the Children's Home 50th birthday on Saturday?


  2. Hai ka,

    I miss you, too. actually, I really want to share and pray as we had before with others, but we're far and busy in studying and anything else, hopefully we can share when we meet each other.

    I have a plan to go to Klungkung tomorrow, but i have meeting at the church tomorrow afternoon and on sunday have the teenagers class and choral group, i do hope to go there. i don't know about the CH 5oth birthday. usually celebrated on march. ok ka ka.. thank you for the information. lovely to see you. :-)

    Yohana B


Any thoughts on this post? I would love to hear from you.

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