Wisdom comes in all shapes and sizes, but not always from holy scriptures or experts who have studied to PHD level or who have all the experience in the world.
So how about this for a thought for today?
And that's from a dog!
The dog is Snoopy, and if you're not already aware of it, he's the companion of a certain Charlie Brown, a little boy who is 'loveable loser' - he's meek, not that self-confident and is of a nervous disposition. He's pessimistic quite a lot, but also sometimes optimistic. He worries about the day and all the things around him, and other times hopes for the best and tries desperately to make good things happen.
Charlie Brown is puzzled by Snoopy and some of the slightly weird things he gets up to, but he looks after him, and does his best to provide his dog with a happy life. And in response, Snoopy is always there for Charlie when he gets let down or needs support.
I've always felt a bit of an affinity with Charlie Brown, even though he isn't a real person, but a cartoon.
He's the central character of the Peanuts comic strip created by Charles M Schulz, who died on this day - February 12th - in the year 2000.
'Peanuts' had first appeared in print in USA newspapers on October 2, 1950. It shows the world of a group of young children. Adults are barely heard, but woven into the comic strips are some very adult themes like philosophy, psychology and sociology. There's some deep stuff in Peanuts and it's characters, even things that could be interpreted as 'spiritual' if not 'religious'.
Take this Snoopy quote for example - 'Keep Looking Up... that's the Secret of Life'.
Now, as a person of faith, what I get from those words is that I need to keep looking up to the Creator, for inspiration and motivation.
In the Old Testament in the Bible, in Psalm 121, we are encouraged to look up to God for all our needs. I particularly love the translation of this psalm from The Message translation:
I look up to the mountains;
does my strength come from mountains?
No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains
He won’t let you stumble, your Guardian God won’t fall asleep.
Not on your life! Israel’s Guardian will never doze or sleep
God’s your Guardian, right at your side to protect you—
Shielding you from sunstroke, sheltering you from moonstroke
God guards you from every evil, he guards your very life.
He guards you when you leave and when you return, he guards you now, he guards you always
Don't you love that? We're not on our own. We just need to look up, not to physical mountains, but even higher, to put our trust in God.
But the Snoopy quote an also be interpreted in a different way. If we are constantly looking DOWN, physically, we will never see the potential of what isn't yet here, what might be open to us. We will always be just concentrating on where we are, now, and not looking forward.
See what I mean? There are so many different ways of looking at life through the eyes of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the gang. Maybe you may interpret this Snoopy Saying in a way that rings true with you and your life?
The final Peanuts comic strip was published on the day after Charles M Schulz died. On February 13th 2000 the 17,897th-and-last instalment appeared in newspapers around the world.
But that wasn't the end of Charlie Brown and his world. The comic strips live on, there are TV cartoons and movies, and images of him and his quotes and those of Snoopy and the other Peanuts kids all over the internet. They are icons of our time!
We all need friends and we all need hope if we are to live life well.
Charlie Brown had Snoopy ... who do you have?
And are you, like Charlie, always seeking the hopeful path?
Are you looking UP or always looking down?
Maybe worth thinking about?