Tonight while my daughter and her boyfriend sit in the cold on the front porch and give out candy, I will be watching “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!” I get attached to these little programs that herald in the season. And especially Charlie’s specials. Charlie Brown is a simple, big-hearted, philosopher youngster…an adult in a little kid’s body. He teaches us so much about accepting ourselves for who we are, putting up with people that criticize you, following your heart, and having friends to rely on.
But, in this episode, the usually self-centered Lucy, shows a piece of her heart in the middle of the night when no one else may notice it. She goes outside after a long-night of trick-or-treating and brings her brother, Linus, in from the freezing cold pumpkin patch where he has been waiting for the Great Pumpkin, forgoing all treats, and in the eyes of many of his friends getting tricked by his beliefs.
In Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography, David Michaelis’s impressive new biography of Charles Schultz it shows that Schulz yearned to be liked. The burning question of his life, says Michaelis, was, “Will I be – was I ever – truly loved?”
After years of reading his comics and watching these shows, I can see Schultz was a deeply spiritual man. There is always a lesson for us in the little world of Charlie Brown.
The lesson in the “Great Pumpkin”? Stand firm for your beliefs, even in the face of criticism and persecution. There is a mention of a man named Linus in the Bible (2 Timothy 4:21). He was a friend of the apostle Paul.
I like Linus. I wish I could be more like him. Willing to put everything on the line for his belief. He is the apostle character in the world of Charlie Brown. My “Great Pumpkin” is God. Everyday I start over continuing my struggle to be a good Christian, to not only stand up for my beliefs, but to actually make them visible in the world, no matter what the consequences may be in the moment. Even if I have to continuously say, ‘I got a rock.’
Where are you in your spiritual struggle? Are you ready to become Linus?