I would eat them in a boat. And I would eat them with a goat. And I will eat them in the rain. And in the dark. And on a train. And in a car and in a tree. They are so good, so good, you see! And I will eat them in a box. And I will eat them with a fox. And I will eat them in a house. And I will eat them with a mouse. And I will eat them here and there. Say! I will eat them ANYWHERE! I do so like green eggs and ham! Thank you! Thank you, Sam-I-am!
This quote above is the last four pages of Dr. Seuss’ book, Green Eggs and Ham. You’ve probably read it to someone at some time in your life, or had someone read it to you. Perhaps you remember the story. Sam-I-am is trying really hard–and failing, as it first appears–to get his friend to try a new dish colored the appetizing shade of green. His friend refuses. After the car and the train and the boat along with all the passengers riding these vehicles crash into the water, the doubting friend finally takes a risk on the green eggs and ham. He decided that he actually likes them. In fact, he’s willing to eat them anytime, anywhere, in all conditions of weather, and in any company.
He reminds me of myself in relation to–not the choice to try a new food–but happiness. Things happen that can sour our outlook on life. We can’t be happy in the rain or in the dark or when we’re up a tree. We can’t find happiness anywhere.
But then God comes along. Maybe in the form of an annoying friend trying to get us to try something new. Or maybe during our journey down a long tunnel in which we can’t see the light at the other end. God might find us on that day when we’re dangling from that spindly little branch after we’ve gone way out on a limb, either because of our own fault or because life seemed to force us there.
He offers us a platter on which to feast–happiness. In whatever situation we find ourselves, this delicacy may look distasteful at first. But when everything crashes and we have nothing to lose, we give it a try only to find out that happiness is a little easier to swallow than we first thought. We polish off the entire helping and ask for seconds. And then the next time we find ourselves in these difficult circumstances, happiness is a bit more savory than it was before.
So, thank you, Dr. Seuss, for teaching me. I can imagine that when he wrote this children’s book, he probably wasn’t thinking in deep, theological concepts. Either way, there is a message here. In fact, if I were to rewrite the end of Sam-I-am’s story, I would say it something like this:
I can be happy in a boat. And I can be happy with a goat. And I can be happy in the rain. And in the dark. And on a train. And in a car and in a tree. It feels so good, so good, you see! And I will be happy in a box. And I will be happy with a fox. And I will be happy in a house. And I will be happy with a mouse. And I will be happy here and there. Say! I can be happy ANYWHERE! I do so like green eggs and ham! Thank you! Thank you, Sam-I-am!