Team Snoopy is a moderate collection of Peanuts cartoons that focus on sports, mainly baseball. The DVD features the 2003 TV short “Lucy Must Be Traded, Charlie Brown,” where Charlie Brown painstaking has to decide what to do with Lucy, his committed yet dreadful right-fielder. The DVD also includes an episode from the shortly-lived Saturday morning cartoon show The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show from the mid-1980s. The episode includes Charlie Brown getting stuck as the mascot for Peppermint Patty’s baseball team… as a pelican. While Linus waits for the Great Pumpkin, the rest of the gang visit a bowling alley where Charlie Brown learns a new sport, and finally a cat from the neighborhood meets his match when Spike, Snoopy’s older brother, comes into town.
If ever there was a character from pop culture that embodies the struggles of humanity, it is Charlie Brown. We have all had moments where we felt like Charlie Brown. We can never quite seem to kick that football. We are walking in the shadow of someone else’s charisma. When we feel like a win is coming, the game gets rained out.
In the beginning of the Book of Habakkuk in the Hebrew Bible (Christian Old Testament), the prophet cries out to God about all the bad things that are happening. His cries are with a certain level of expectation. As in Habakkuk expects God to do something about it. In essence what he is saying is, “If you are God, you should be able to handle this.” With each crying out from Habakkuk, God responses that Habakkuk needs to wait. “I am doing something,” God says, “it might not be in your time, but it’ll be in my time.” Habakkuk was having a Charlie Brown moment.
In this DVD collection we learn from Charlie Brown the importance of staying in the game. Poor Charlie Brown never seems to get a win. In “Lucy Must be Traded, Charlie Brown,” he does his best to form a winning team, even going so far as to trade Snoopy! But at the end he realizes that winning isn’t that important. We see a Charlie Brown who recognizes that playing the game is more important than winning the game. Charlie Brown seems to adopt the attitude that Habakkuk does at the end of his Book.
Though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines; though the produce of the olive fails, and the fields yield no food; though the flock is cut off from the fold, and there is no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the God of my salvation. (3:17-18)
The lesson of Charlie Brown is that no matter what happens, even though it rains on your ball game; even though you wear an awful pelican costume; even though you… fill in the blank…; even though all of that stuff happens, we can still rejoice and exult and praise God. Why? Because no matter what we’re going through God is still there working in the midst of our struggles in God’s time.
If you’re having a rough day, remember Habakkuk, remember Charlie Brown. Hang in there, stay in the game, rejoice in God’s glory.
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