If you ask me, there is a lot more to love about Rudolph than just a red nose, including his raspy voice, sweet personality, and selfless attitude. In fact, when I think about Rudolph, his shiny nose is not really what comes to mind at all.
You see, Rudolph lived a pretty hard life. He was born into a family that loved him, but desperately wished he were different. As a result of his parents disapproval of his physical attributes, and because he did not look “normal” like all the other reindeer, he bought into the fact that he needed to try to fit in – even it meant hiding who he really was (by covering his nose with black dirt).
When Rudolph could not hide his imperfections any longer, he was ridiculed by peers and adults, and eventually excluded and cast out. Out of frustration and sadness, he ran away from home, searching for someone, some place, some situation, where he would fit in and be accepted. He longed for a purpose.
I bet if I took a survey right now – most of us would admit that there have been times when we felt a lot like Rudolph.
Unaccepted. Criticized. Flawed. Different. Unloved. Cast out. Excluded. Sad. Lonely. Searching.
In fact, sometimes the holidays can bring on more of these feelings than any other time of the year.
How unfortunate that a season of the year which is supposed to bring inclusiveness and love, can sometimes leave us feeling excluded, unloved and without purpose, more than any other time….. and that is exactly why Rudolph is such a great example at the holidays.
You see, although Rudolph intially felt defeated, he pulled himself together and went on a search for his purpose and meaning.
He began focusing on others, instead of himself.
Instead of retreating into a cave of sadness and loneliness and lack of direction, he focused on doing something good.
He warmed up to a fawn named Clarise, let down his guard, and opened his heart. Clarise accepted Rudolph, and his red nose. He saved his loved ones from the abominable snow man. He made a new friend. He led Santas sleigh through the dense fog. He enlightened Christmas for many children. He gained respect and adoration from all who knew him. He made a difference.
Okay, okay. I promise, I really do know that Rudolph is a fictional character. Really. But still, dont you just love what he teaches us?
Everything, and everyone, has a special place in this world – and a special purpose. Rudolph thought he had no purpose – especially with his flaws and imperfections. And, all his little friends on the Island of Misfits thought they did not have a place or purpose in this world either. But they did. And so do we.
For the past ten years, I adopted Jeremiah 29:11 as my life theme verse. In fact, I have often said that God stalked with me that verse. It kept popping up everywhere, all around me, in the least expected places and in the most unusual of ways. God continued to put it in my face, until I put it into my heart.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (NLT)
God sees our imperfections – in fact, He created them – yet he still has a predestined plan for each us, and if we allow Him to, he can turn our pain into our purpose. If we embrace what God calls us to do, then just like little Rudolph, we can shed His light to other people through the way we live our lives.
God calls us to be a light in the darkness, and help light the way for others, similar to Rudolph, but in a more meaningful way, of course. Just as Rudolph learned, we do not need to hide our imperfections, because they may be exactly what God plans to use to impact the lives of others.
John 1:4-5 says, “The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.The light shine in the darkness,and the darkness can never extinguish it.” (NLT)
There came a time in Rudolphs journey, that he became proud of his red nose – his light. He realized that his imperfection had a purpose, and it was good.
Hmmmm, I think I want to be like Rudolph one day. Rudoloph just led the way for the sleigh, but we can lead people to the Way.
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