I find inspiration and encouragement from strange places. Recently I have been deeply moved by the example of Horton the Elephant. Seriously. Deeply moved! Horton is, perhaps most famous for hearing the cries of a certain Who. Today’s lesson, however, comes from the extended period that he spent sitting on a nest in place of the lazy mother bird Maisey.
Horton agrees to sit on the egg until Maisey returns. Spoiler Alert!!!! Maisey is MIA for a long time. As Horton keeps his promise to remain on the egg, he is mocked by his friends. He endures storms. He is captured by hunters who bring him to America on a perilous sea voyage (they have to dig up the tree with Horton still sitting on the nest) and finally he makes his way to a circus where he can be stared at as a great curiosity. What keeps Horton the Elephant firmly planted is his faithfulness to his word. To quote the noble beast, “I meant what I said and I said what I meant, an Elephant’s faithful one hundred percent!”
All Horton did was sit. But his sitting was not easy. He did not sit where he was because he was a stick in the mud or because he was proud or because he had nothing else to do. He did not want to be a curmudgeon or Luddite. He wanted to be faithful. One hundred percent. Twenty years ago I was sent to my current city to aid in the planting of a church. In the blessing of God that church was planted and it has known the smile of God upon it. Twenty years ago I sought to lay a good foundation. A foundation of confidence in the scriptures, in the holiness and sovereignty of God, of the importance of the local church, of commitment to that church, of biblical churchmanship, biblical leadership, biblical worship, evangelism, missions, etc. On these things I have sat. It has not been easy. In sitting on these things I have faced both praise and criticism. I have watched as the world around me has changed in ways, I perceive to be both positive and negative. I have been made to question my perch. I have asked why I continue to sit where I do. Here’s the simple answer. What was biblical twenty years ago is still biblical. It will remain biblical twenty years from now. I have seen fads come and go. I have watched as this or that thing has been emphasized. I have seen the evangelical and reformed world shift and move. I trust not out of pride, but with an elephant’s determination to be faithful I have not seen great reason to shift. To go deeper, yes. To have a warmer heart, greater zeal, more love, more faith, more prayer, more of a heart for the expansion of the kingdom, yes. But to leave the tree? No.
Though Seuss put it well, Paul but it better. 1 Corinthians 15:58 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.Jim Savastio, Pastor Reformed Baptist Church of Louisville