Have you ever really paid attention to the lyrics of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?
For whatever reason, I did while looking for unsweetened coconut in the bulk section of Save On Foods this week. As I scoured the bins for the correct product the background music interrupted my concentration.
All of the other reindeer, used to laugh and call him names. They never let poor Rudolph, join in any reindeer games.
“Nasty reindeer,” I thought.
Then one foggy Christmas Eve, Santa came to say, "Rudolph, with your nose so bright, won't you guide my sleigh tonight?" Then how the reindeer loved him, as they shouted out with glee, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, you'll go down in history."
“Oh sure, now they love him. He’s famous,” I mused as I scooped the white flakes.
The song, which seemed to be on auto repeat, began again. Second time through it struck me differently.
All it took to change the course of one misunderstood little reindeer was belief in him by an influential other. Someone important to the little fellow saw his unique trait as a gift and put it to constructive use.
Before you get too worried, I do know that Rudolf isn’t real.
But the incident reminded me of a couple of important life lessons. Firstly, there is always more than one way to look at a situation. Within minutes my perspective on the song changed as I switched from a critical, “judgmental reindeer buddies” attitude to a “power of believing in another” view.
In fact, Rudolf became a leader among his peers, a beacon at the front of the sleigh, a source of light across the dark sky. In the right context, his unusual ability went from being a point of derision to a coveted trait, reminding me of the value of matching skills to jobs, gifts to needs.
This silly little encounter also calls me not to be a Dasher or Dancer or Comet or Blitzen – one of those with a critical spirit. Rather, I want to be one who looks for the good in each person I meet, calling forth the God-given gifts every one of us possesses.
Who can you encourage to step out in faith and try using a hidden talent? Are you willing to ask God to show you how He can use every part of your life to be a light in the darkness?
With love and gratitude,
In The Midst