Lessons from the Great Pumpkin

by Mel Tavares

Fall has arrived here in New England. It’s the season of apples, cider, and pumpkin everything. I went to the orchard near my house a couple of days ago and eyed the pumpkin patch. I can’t see a pumpkin patch without immediately thinking of my childhood favorite “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”

Most people related to Linus, who never loses faith in the Great Pumpkin and encourages others to hold fast to their faith in the Great Pumpkin. The story is a parody of our Christian walk, masterfully told by author and creator Charles Shultz. While I love this aspect of the story, I see something deeper. To me, it is a story of hope and perseverance that never gets old. Why? Because, no matter what happens, Charlie Brown always seems to bounce back.

God has created us to persevere, never lose hope, and bounce back just like Charlie Brown.  

Romans 5: 3-5 (NKJV) “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

Isn’t it comforting to know that we do not suffer in vain, but that it produces perseverance that leads to character development, which leads to hope? None of us can live without hope. I will never forget reading Hal Lindsay’s book The Late Great Planet Earth in high school. He said “Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air…but only one second without hope.”  Of course, only one second is a great exaggeration but a very poignant illustration of the need for hope. I’ve read many accounts of grueling circumstances people have lived through and when asked how they managed to endure, the common denominator has been “I never lost hope.”

Psalm 27:13 says “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living” (NASB95).

How often this has been true in my own life, as I am sure it has been in yours. It’s true that Charlie Brown says “Good grief” frequently, but if I am honest I do the same when circumstances don’t seem very hopeful. Although both he and I have times of pessimism and temporarily lose heart and hope, there’s always a ‘bounce back’. Charlie Brown was able to bounce back because of the days he lives as an optimist, always hoping for a brighter future.

Let’s turn our attention back to Linus. His faith was unwavering. I admire that. He puts some of us to shame at times. No matter what others say, Linus is unmovable. Better yet, he goes beyond holding fast to his own faith in the Great Pumpkin and proceeds to proclaim the need for others to also believe.

Another thing I love about Linus is he fully embraces the fall season. Have you ever noticed how he completely enjoys munching on a fresh apple, kicking through the falling leaves, and pumpkin picking? To me, these activities are all synonymous with the best parts of fall in New England.

May you embrace this new season, both spiritually and physically, and may you hold fast to your faith and never lose hope.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Mel Tavares is an accomplished writer and speaker/teacher, both in ministry and in her career. She is passionate about encouraging and teaching writers. Her target market is women who are hurting and in need of Biblical hope. In addition to ghost writing and authoring her own books, Mel is a contributing author to several books, including the recently released DaySpring “Sweet Tea for the Soul: Comfort for Grieving Hearts.”  She writes for several online Christian communities, teaches classes online, conducts Facebook Live series, and is a podcast guest as opportunities arise. She is a wife, mom to seven, and grandma to ten.

Join the conversation: How does this holiday speak to you right now?

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