Be honest, who still watches, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” every holiday season? (Looks around, timidly raising her hand). When our kids were younger, we had all of the Christmas classics on gasp…VHS! As they grew older and VCR’s grew scarce, we began replacing the videotapes with DVD’s. Although there is no one in our home under the age of 19, I still own and watch all the “kiddie” Christmas movies (the VHS tapes have been replaced with DVD’s or Blu-ray), and Rudolph is definitely a favorite. I love a good story about someone who doesn’t quite fit the mold and then ends up becoming the hero. Honestly though, at this juncture of my life, I can most relate with the inhabitants on the “Island of Misfit Toys“.
This fictitious island is home to unwanted toys; toys like a Charlie in the Box, a spotted elephant, a boat that doesn’t float, an airplane that doesn’t fly, a train with square wheels, a cowboy who rides an ostrich, and a water pistol that shoots jelly. They represent the rejected, the discarded, the unloved, the unwanted, and the lonely. They want so much to belong, but they are different and therefore considered undesirable to everyone but the winged lion, King Moonracer. The king sees their value and seeks not only to protect them, but also to find them a place where they can be loved unconditionally. Hmm. . . see any gospel parallels here?
Maybe this will surprise you, maybe it won’t, but quite often I feel like a misfit toy. I just don’t fit in. I married young and had kids late. Many of our friends married late and had kids right way. I did not graduate from college until I was in my 40’s. I am not an accountant, but I work in an accounting department surrounded by people who know much more about the topic than I do. Most of my immediate family members live in the Dallas area, and I live almost five hours away, so I miss out on a lot. I have people who I am close to, but I don’t have one very best friend. Sometimes, I feel like I go out of my way to do for others, but don’t always seem to reap what I sow. I have visible tattoos, and a nostril piercing, rare things within my circles. Sometimes I have a potty mouth where others practice restraint.
There are moments, even days or weeks, I spend entirely too much time lamenting being a Charlie in the Box when everyone else gets to be a Jack in the Box. Then there are those rare, but precious moments I catch a glimpse of how my difference impacts the world around me. You know, those times when instead of focusing on being a misfit toy, I hear Dr. Seuss saying, “Why fit in, when you were born to be different?” That is the truth. I was born to be different. God created me to be who I am, and He created you to be who you are. Maybe to the world we are misfits, but to the God who created us we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” with a unique purpose and destiny.
You know, in the end, all of the Misfit Toys found homes with children who would love and appreciate them. Perhaps my logic is based on a fictional children’s story, but maybe, just maybe it’s still true. There absolutely is a place in this world for those of us labeled, “misfit toys.”
Becky J Miller