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Snoopy and God

FOR 50 YEARS, cartoonist Charles Schulz gave us pictures of ourselves wrapped in a smile. One of the last strips I clipped from our Sunday paper showed Snoopy the dog sitting on top of his doghouse with a typewriter, writing about his life. He titled his story . . .

The Dog Who Never Did Anything

Snoopy remembers it this way, “You stay home now,” they said, “and be a good dog.”

So he stayed home and was a good dog.

Then he decided to be even a better dog. So he barked at everyone who went by. And he even chased the neighbor’s cats.

“What’s happened to you?” they said. “You used to be such a good dog.”

So he stopped barking and chasing cats, and everyone said, “You’re a good dog.”

The moral, as Snoopy typed it, is “Don’t do anything and you’ll be a good dog.”

As I turned the smile around in my mind, I noticed a quirk of the English language. Snoopy and God have something in common. They are related not only by alphabet (dog and god), but by what “creatures in the middle” expect of them. The idea intrigued me enough to try another version.

The God Who Never Did Anything

“You give me what I want now,” they said, “and be a good God.”

So He gave them what they wanted and He was a good God.

Then He decided to be an even better God.

He started knocking over the furniture of other gods, and He used pain to help people in ways they could not understand.

“What’s happened to You?” they said.

“You used to be such a good God.”

So He stopped knocking over the furniture of other gods, and He stopped using pain in ways that were beyond people’s ability to understand.

And everyone said, “You’re a good God.”

The moral, as angels might see it, “Stop acting like God and people will think You’re good.”

Could our tendency to confuse our idea of good– with God– be one reason the Apostle John ends his first New Testament letter saying to followers of Christ, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (1John 5:21)?

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7 Responses to “Snoopy and God”

  1. Gale L. Jarvis says:

    Mart, your first blog this morning about Snoopy, concerning God doing nothing to upset us, and then does God love us enough to give us a reality check.
    i do not know why this thought from the Holy Spirit came to mind, but a reality check the Lord gave me several years ago as i was having thoughts concerning the sovereignty of God, and the free will of man, and i know in God’s Sovereignty, He incorporated the free will of man, but the Holy Spirit has convinced me, my best way of life is in giving God back my free will, and desiring for His Sovereign will be done at all times, my desire is for God to be God.

  2. hal.fshr says:

    Certainly, the temptation to constuct idols in place of the One True God is very real for all believers. I think we could use some practical guidelines on how to do the “reality check” Mart is talking about. How do we check our own motives? What are some common mistakes believers can make in creating “subsitute gods”? How do we get back on track with the God of Scripture?

  3. Tha says:

    I’m so glad that God gives me a reality check every day. A lot of time it hurts, but the hurt tells me that I’m a legitimate daugther (Hebrews 12: 7-11), and such fact gives me joy.

    Addison Leitch said “When the will of God crosses the will of man, somebody has to die.”

  4. spooks101 says:

    An excellent been thinking about. One thing in particular I get from this is often we ask God for what we want, as apposed to what we need. and more often than not people complain when they get what they need as apposed to what they want. e.g. a fanciful tale might be ‘I want a new car!’. oddly, God doesn’t give you a new car. But he instead gives you a location close to your work so you can walk. He gives you friends nearby so you don’t need to drive. he gives you what you need, as apposed to what you want. All one needs to do is trust him. Afterall, God can be trusted always.

  5. poohpity says:

    After reading this I thought about how it is so true that we have our wish list for God and when He does not act the way we would want we walk away. In reality it is us that does not act the God wants us to. We are sitting on the dog house not doing anything being good Christians not getting in anyones way not causing any waves in the still sea. Personally I want to get out there and make a commotion and when I screw up ask for forgiveness and continue bringing glory to God in my imperfect way. It is not about us it is about God. If we continue sitting on the dog house who is going to do God’s work. STEP AWAY FROM THE DOG HOUSE and be blessing to someone.

  6. Aries says:

    I’m so bless with this story, so I got to do something to tell my friends and family about it.

  7. Hephzibah610 says:

    This article does make one stop and consider… My struggle is not so much asking God to not act or be sovereign but trying to understand how certain responses or actions from Him fit what I have believed about Him and His character. How does the small and finite mind of one “insignificant” human wrap itself around the unfathomable mysteries of God? So, the greatest desire in the face of the questions about God’s goodness and not so good things that happen…is knowing the heart of God. How do we know His heart? How do we make it personal?

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