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The Knee High Man

Knee-High Man lived by a swamp, deep in the heart of Alabama. He lived all by himself, in a tiny run-down shack, ­because he was ashamed of how small he was. He wanted to be tall like so many other ­successful people from history, like the 6’3” Abraham Lincoln, the 7’1” ­Shaquille O’Neal, or the 7’4” Andre the Giant.


“I’m tired of being little,” he said to ­himself, one day. “I’m gonna find out how to get big!”


So, he went to the biggest friend he knew. He went to see Mr. Horse. “Mr. Horse!” he hollered from down so low. “Mr. Horse! I want to be big, like you. Tell me what I have to do!”


Mr. Horse munched thoughtfully on a mouthful of oats. “Well…” he said slowly, “I always eat lots and lots of oats. Then I run and run—about twenty miles a day. That’s how I got big. Maybe that’ll work for you.”


“Thank you,” said Knee-High Man. Then he did just what Mr. Horse said. He ate oats ‘til his stomach hurt. He ran and ran ‘til his little legs hurt. But still he grew no bigger. Nope, not one little bit.


So, he went to see his next-biggest friend. He went to see Mr. Bull. “Mr. Bull!” he ­hollered from down so low. “Mr. Bull, I want to be big, like you. Tell me what I have to do.”


Mr. Bull munched patiently on a ­mouthful of grass. “Well…” he grunted. “I chew up field after field of grass. Then I bellow and bellow—‘MOOOO!’— for all I’m worth. That’s how I got big. Maybe that’ll work for you.”
“Thank you,” said Knee-High Man. Then he did just what Mr. Bull had said. He chewed grass until his teeth hurt. He bellowed—MOOOO!—’til his tiny throat hurt. But still he grew no bigger. Nope, not one little bit.


So, he went to see the smartest friend he knew. He went to see Mr. Hoot Owl. “Mr. Hoot Owl!” he hollered from down so low. “Mr. Hoot Owl, I’m tired of ­being a little Knee-High Man. I want to be big! Please tell me what I have to do.”


Mr. Hoot Owl blinked and ruffled his feathers and turned his big head round and round. “Hoo-hoo! Tell me, Mr. Knee-High Man,” he said at last. “Why do you want to be big?”


“Because I’m tired of always looking up at everyone.” Moaned Knee-High Man.


Mr. Hoot Owl blinked and ruffled his ­feathers again.


“Hoo-hoo! Size isn’t everything,” he said. “Can you climb a tree?”


“Of course!” answered Knee-High Man.


“Then come on up here and join me,” said the owl.


Knee-High Man climbed up that big tree, as fast as any squirrel. Then he sat himself down on the branch beside Mr. Hoot Owl.


“Now look around,” said Mr. Hoot Owl. “What do you see?”


Knee-High Man looked. There was Mr. Horse, running around his field. And over there was Mr. Bull, bellowing for all he was worth. And neither of them looked any bigger than the biggest ant!


“When you get tired of being small,” said Mr. Hoot Owl, “just climb up here. You’ll be the tallest thing around! And when you get tired of that, climb back down—and be satisfied with who you are.”
So, that’s just want he did. He was never ashamed of being a Knee-High Man again.


There’s a lesson in there for each of us. We often get tired of where we are in life. We want a different marriage, better acting children, a higher-paying job, a bigger bank account, or any other typical wish. Yet, we are limited on what we can change on the outside of our bodies or the circumstances of life over which we have no control.


Who we are on the inside is malleable, changeable, and transformable. While the Knee-High Man cannot change his height, he can change his heart. While he cannot change his altitude, he can change his attitude. While we cannot change what we look like, we can change how we see the world around us. See people how God sees people (1 Sam 16.7). See circumstances how God sees them (Matt 6.33; Prov 3.3-6). Find joy in salvation instead of the circumstances of life (Ps 51.12). Look at the world with fresh eyes. A new perspective can change everything about how you see the world.