by Jeff Strite

This content is part of a series.

The Places You'll Go (2 of 5)
Series: Dr. Seuss And God
Jeff Strite
James 4:13-16

OPEN: Dr. Seuss once wrote a poem entitled: "The Places You'll Go"
And part of it goes like this:

"You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go."

APPLY: Like all of Dr. Seuss' works, this is a cute poem.
It tells children that they have potential.
They have feet in their shoes that enable them to go places.
They have brains in their heads and they "know what they know".
And thus, as time goes on, they'll be able to decide what to do with their lives. Granted, they'll need some guidance, but they can figure out a lot of it all on their own.

This is an uplifting and powerful message.
You have ability and talent. You can stand on your own 2 feet.
You can make your own decisions.
You're not some mindless robot to be programmed.
You're not an animal that can be trained to roll over and play dead.
You can think.
You can reason.
And you can come to your own conclusions.

I agree with all that.
And yet… when I first read the poem it made me uneasy.
I put in amongst my illustrations of how a person ought NOT to think. And I think what made me uneasy was that it's terminology seemed eerily like what I'd read in James 4.

Look at what James tells the people of his day James 4:13-16…
"Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money."
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.' As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil."

These folks had brains in their heads
(they were businessmen who made money).
They had feet in their ...

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