Snoopy is a big hit at our house. Either on DVD or VHS, we own every Peanuts special ever made. My daughter has a stuffed Snoopy who has taken on a life of his own. She constantly admonishes me to “make sure Snoopy behaves, or he doesn’t get his root beer.” Lately he’s been sacked out on the sectional in our family room. Seeing him there got me thinking. Snoopy’s approach to life holds some valuable lessons for us Christians. Here are some that come to mind, in no particular order.
1. Eat heartily. Snoopy makes short work of a full supper dish. We believers should be equally ravenous when it comes to our spiritual food: God’s Word. We can never get enough of the Bible. Every one of us should try to devour a heaping helping of it every day, even if we don’t always understand everything we read. God honors our commitment to His Word, and blessings will flow from seeking it daily.
2. Play, even when there’s work to be done. Even when you’re setting up for that outdoor Thanksgiving feast of popcorn, toast, pretzels, and jelly beans, there’s still time for shooting a few baskets, or a quick game of one-man (dog?) ping pong. No matter how busy life gets, we need to find joy and fun in the midst of it. No task is so important that it can’t be interrupted for a brief look outside or a quick glance at a comic strip, or whatever brings a smile to our faces. God gives us life to be lived to the fullest. Take the opportunity to enjoy the little moments around you, even if it means winding up all the department store’s music boxes and dancing with a couple girls who think you’re really a funny looking kid.
3. Some battles aren’t worth fighting. That folding chair kicks ol’ Snoopy’s butt pretty good in Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Sometimes we exhaust ourselves trying to prove ourselves right, or to win over people who just don’t see things our way. How often have relationships been fractured by trying too hard to prove to the other person that we’re right? Better to agree to disagree, and keep the relationship intact. Who knows, eventually you may come to see things the other person’s way, or they may come to embrace your point of view by seeing your actions back up your words.
4. We fight an unseen enemy. Satan’s out there, trying to lure us away from Jesus by any means he can. Just like Snoopy in his Sopwith Camel, hunting down his airborne German adversary, we too need to put on the Whole Armor of God from Ephesians 6, and be watchful and wary for sin trying to get the better of us.
5. Indulge your imagination, even if those around you don’t get it. Snoopy’s battles with the Red Baron are an escape from his ordinary, mundane dog life. We need to escape reality once in a while too, whether it’s reading a book, watching a movie, meditating, whatever gives your mind a break. Who cares whether those around you understand? The Peanuts Gang don’t get Snoopy’s WWI flying ace routine, but does that ever stop him?
6. Like Woodstock, Jesus will always be ther for us. Woodstock isn’t always the most with-it or cooperative bird, but he’s there when Snoopy needs him, and Snoopy would do anything for him. And it doesn’t matter to Woodstock what Snoopy does to him, in the end he forgives all and he’s still Snoopy’s faithful friend. Just like Jesus still wants to hang with us, no matter what we may have done.
7. Sometimes it’s best to just lay back, wait on the Lord, and see what happens. Charlie Brown wants to fly his kite in the world’s worst way, but no matter how hard he tries, he just can’t seem to pull it off. After throwing it away in disgust, it winds up in the hands of his sleeping dog lying atop his doghouse. With absolutely zero effort, Snoopy has the kite flying perfectly in no time. Often, our biggest victories come when we stop trying, give the problem to God, and let Him take care of it. How much smoother things go with our Lord in control.
Now that I’ve put the images in your head, you know you want to go back and watch all those Peanuts specials again. Thanks, Charles Schultz, for giving us Snoopy. May we all learn to live our spiritual lives a bit more like him. Then maybe my daughter will let us have our root beer.