Monday, September 24, 2012

What the Cat in the Hat Teaches Us About Temptation - Part 5

In the previous four posts, we've taken a look at the children's classic The Cat in the Hat to see how has strong similarities to how temptation works in our own lives. If you haven't read the earlier posts, you can easily link to them here.
We left the kids "looking down the business end of the mother of all messes". I believe that is a quote from the movie version of the story. Their fish has repeatedly sounded the alarm, but the kids didn't heed the warning. They were likely taken by surprise at first, but after a while, they may have been a bit impressed by the cat's antics.

Today, we will take a look at what happens when it all is about to catch up with them.

About To Be Caught

The fish in the story sounds a new alarm. 

“Your mother is on her way home, do you hear!”

As fast as you can, think of something to do.
You will have to get rid of Thing One and Thing Two."

The kids are about to get caught with their house in chaos. End of the line, kiddos. Crash and burn. There is NO WAY they want their mother walking in and finding those two Things tearing through the house. How the kids wish they had never let them play. For that matter, why had they ever let the cat stay in the first place? 

Those of us who have ever allowed the “cat” and his pals to have free reign in our lives know how bad that situation is.  We are about to…or finally have…hit bottom. What will it take to put on the brakes?

Here is where we see something new happen in the story.  The boy finally takes charge.  He gets his net. He takes action. He catches the two Things and makes them stop.  Then he looks the havoc-wreaking feline in the eye and says,

“Now you do as I say.
You pack up those Things 
and you take them away.”

The Will Kicks In
The boy’s will had finally kicked in.  He decided that enough was enough, and then some. Of course, the cat was not happy to be kicked out of the place he had overrun, but he had to go.  The boy didn’t apologize for kicking him out.   

Neither should we apologize to the Tempter for kicking him and his pals out of our lives.They don't belong. They have no right there unless we give it to them. If we have already given them the right to wreak havoc in our lives, we have the authority to kick them out.

We cannot kick out our "cats" and his pals by merely saying, "I know this is wrong." That is no different than the fish shouting his warnings.

Our destructive visitors won't leave if we merely point out what a mess they are making. No, those pesky "cats" will stick around as long as we allow them to stay, breaking families apart, wrecking health, and drawing us into habits and patterns that would eventually destroy us if allowed to continue. 

We have to engage our will, our power to choose, if we are to ever get rid of them. We must bring our will into agreement with the voice of our "fish". This is not easy. Not at all. But when you are "looking down the business end of the mother of all messes", the alternative is far, far worse.

Today, we have seen the importance of engaging our will and bringing it into alignment with our conscience. We have seen that the "cat" and his pals have no right to stick around when we actively choose to evict them.

Tomorrow, in the final post in this series, we will see that the Cat in the Hat metaphor doesn't quite work all the way to the end as we face the monumental task of cleaning up the mess left by the "cat".

What about you?
If you have been following this series, have you gained any new thoughts or perspectives on this topic for yourself? I am writing these posts for adults, but have they given you any ideas for using the children's book to talk to the kids in your life about temptation? Feel free to share any thought in a comment.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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

Gadgets By Spice Up Your Blog