Friday night, I relived a childhood experience. Actually, its an experience that I’ve enacted each year for at least the last 40 years. I have an October ritual of watching, “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.” I love this movie. I mean I seriously adore it. I could purchase it on dvd, and perhaps one day I will, but I enjoy watching it on television, commercials included. Its funny, heartwarming and creates space for laughter. I would say its my favorite holiday cartoon, but then I’d be doing the Grinch a disservice. At any rate, I too await the Great Pumpkin just like Linus year after year and find it most satisfying. In the backdrop of Snoopy kissing Lucy, Sally’s infatuation with Linus, coupled with Pig Pen’s surprise of “I bet they’ll never guess its me,” one theme continues to play in the backdrop that I find profound. Charlie Brown, who is often portrayed as the outsider within goes trick or treating with the other members of the Peanuts gang, and while they are receiving candy and coins and other treats, he continues to receive a rock. In fact, as they scramble through their bounty, Charlie Brown is guilty of saying, “I got a rock.” It happens to be one of my favorite quotes (of which there are many). Here’s why.
Its been said that life imitates art. As such, you may find that you travel in the same circles with others, you dress similarly, you each follow the same script, and yet your outcome is vastly different from the rest. Likened to Charlie Brown, you seemingly come up short. However, if we are to be in receipt of anything, let us be sure that we stand in our grateful stance, reflecting on what it means to have a rock on our side. Psalm 78:35 affirms, “And they remembered that God was their rock, And the most high God their Redeemer.” II Samuel 22:32 continues, “”For who is God, besides the LORD? And who is a rock, besides our God?” Need more confirmation of the rock? Check out Psalm 18:31: “For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God.” How about, Psalm 144:1: “Blessed be the LORD, my rock, Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle.” So, when I hear Charlie Brown say, “I got a rock…not again,” I give a shout unto the Lord, my rock! No matter how it may appear that others are receiving the benefit of answered prayers, and walking in spaces that I’ve petitioned God for a number of years, I am not left to ponder in isolation. Psalm 92:15 decrees, “To declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” This means there is sin within him. He is unable to do wrong. So, if I am in receipt of a rock, I’m in the right place!
The song says, “I go to the rock, I know he’s able, I go to the rock!” I go to the rock for healing. I go to the rock for deliverance. I go to the rock for peace. I go to the rock for shelter. I go to the rock for unconditional love. I go to the rock for correction. I go to the rock for affirmation. I go to the rock for comfort. I go to the rock for everything I stand in need of. So getting a rock again, and again, and again, is just what he intended. He has sanctioned others around us to accompany us on this journey. While traveling together, sometimes we experience tricks and other times treats. But unlike the myth of the Great Pumpkin, God is real and isn’t relinquished to only one patch. He is omnipresent and he responds whether we have been angels or goblins. Further he is not relegated only to man made holidays, but he is infinite and eternal in our existence daily. The next time you feel discouraged, consider your rock and the power that rests in you as you rest in him. If we find ourselves in a hard place, let it be with our rock. Selah.