Sunday, September 23, 2012

What the Cat in the Hat Teaches Us About Temptation - Part 4

In the last three posts, we've considered what the classic children's book The Cat in the Hat has to teach us about temptation. We've seen how boredom and negative feelings set us up for temptation. We've seen how when we are not prepared to reject something that is wrong, we often will fall for it. We've also seen how our conscience and other people sound the alarm when we head the wrong way. It becomes clear that when we ignore the warnings, we can count on a real mess.

If you haven't read the first three posts yet, you can check them out here.
Today, let's consider why merely knowing something is wrong is not sufficient.

The Fish’s Voice Isn’t Enough

When the "cat" shows up in our lives sometimes, only our consciences protest, but our wills have yet to come on board.  In the story, we find the single voice for what is right saying:

“You get out of this house!” said the fish in the pot.

Unfortunately, the cat was already there.  He liked to be there and refused to leave.  The kids had given him a right to be there when they did not kick him out from the start.  This was actually the first parallel I noticed between the story and our experiences with temptation.   

In the story, the fish could protest the cat’s presence all he wanted, but the cat was not obligated to obey the fish. In the same way, our consciences can scream all day, other people can warn us till they are blue in the face, but no one can make our personal “cats” go away until we engage our wills, choose to kick the cat out, and take back the house, so to speak.

Out of Control

Some people will listen to the “fish” at this point and take action to kick the “cat” out of the house.  They still have a mess to clean up, but nothing compared to what they will face if they fail to take action.  

You see, the cat has another trick up his sleeve.  Another “fun” game.  In the story, the cat runs out and then comes back in with a box.  In the box are two things that wreak absolute havoc in the house. 

Of course, the cat tries to pass “Thing One” and “Thing Two” off as being tame, innocent, friendly creatures that just want to show the kids a bit of fun.  

Once again, the fish sounds the alarm.  Once again, the cat tells the fish to “Have no fear!”  Once again, the kids are unprepared to make a decisive response.

“And Sally and I didn’t know what to do.
So we had to shake hands with Thing One and Thing Two.”

Once we are so far gone down the wrong road, we find that other things take over. We feel that we no longer have any choice in what we do, or say, or think. It seems that we HAVE TO do whatever “Thing One” and “Thing Two”, (whatever those Things are to us), tell us to do. 

This is the point where addictions kick in, full-blown affairs wreck marriages, health is completely broken, and compulsive thoughts and actions dominate lives.

Today, we have seen that the voice of the "fish" whoever or whatever you consider that to be, is not enough to get rid of the the "cat". Does this sound like a depressing scenario? Unfortunately, many people live every day in such a situation. Thankfully, this is not the end of the story.  

Tomorrow, we will see how bringing our will into line with our conscience and the warnings of others makes all the difference.

What about you?
Do you have a "Thing One" and "Thing Two" in your life? Something that you know is not good, but has a strong hold on you until you feel you are powerless to resist?  Have you perhaps had a "Thing" like this in your life in the past, but now are free. You may share anonymously if you like. Perhaps we can encourage each other to find freedom from the "cat" that just won't go away.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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

Gadgets By Spice Up Your Blog