Thanks to Netflix, my wife and I finally watched “The Lorax.” I had never seen the movie nor read the book, but when the movie started off talking about a plastic city with no real trees, I was picking up on the vibe that this movie was gonna be a bit “environmentally preachy.”
My theory was proven right during the song, “How Bad Can I Be?” where a man with an idea becomes an evil, greedy, Earth-killing, evil, polluting, lying, evil, evil man.
But let’s put that aside.
There was a line in the movie, but it’s not the big line. The BIG line of the movie was the “Unless” line, which was also used to preach about standing up for the environment, because global warming is killing all the polar bears…
I’m sorry. I said I wasn’t going to talk about that, and I meant it.
The line that stood out to me was this one, after Zach Efron was given the last remaining seed and told to plant it in the middle of town where everyone would see it. The Once-Ler said this:
“It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become. That’s not just a seed…”
THAT is a wonderful message.
Specifically, a fundamentally Biblical one, when it comes to witnessing to others.
My job was to plant the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God, not we, who made it grow. The ones who do the planting or watering aren’t important, but God is important because he is the one who makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work as a team with the same purpose. Yet they will be rewarded individually, according to their own hard work.
-Paul the Apostle, 1 Corinthians 3:6-8 NLT
When I was young and thought about witnessing to others, sharing Christ with my friends, I always thought the point was to get them “saved.” And so, when I was never able to “save” any of my unsaved friends, I felt like a failure.
Of course, as an adult, I know better. It is not our job to save souls, it’s our job to spread the message, to sow seeds and water them with our words and our actions. To tell anyone who will listen and to live in a way that represents Christ well.
It is God who will make something out of that seed, but unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s… wait… sorry, that’s the other line.
Unless someone like you shares your faith, then someone you love might never get saved.
The other great message I pull from that quote from the movie is about viewing OURSELVES as the seed. It’s not about what we are, but what we can become.
Some of us, especially myself, have been some terrible people. In fact, there are still times when I despise myself. But that doesn’t mean I can never grow into something better, stronger, more Spiritually beautiful.
Even after we are saved, God is still growing us, cultivating, sometimes even uprooting us and replanting us somewhere else, where we’ll grow better.
But if we come to Christ and then decide we don’t want to grow anymore, that we’re too afraid of change and growth… then we’re dying.
Unless we let God grow us more every day, then nothing is going to get better, I say.
“The Lorax” might not be my favorite Dr. Suess movie, but I know for a fact they got something right.
“It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become.”
Matthew Coker is a Media Director at a church in his hometown, where he also is a leader at a Celebrate Recovery program. He’s a huge comic book nerd, Whovian, and Funko Pop Collector. Matthew and his wife live in New Mexico.