I’ve always enjoyed "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer". Back in the day it was cutting-edge with its stop-motion animation, plus the characters have great messages to share:
“Name-calling hurts every bit as much as sticks and stones.” - Rudolph
“Everyone has a purpose.” – Misfit Toys
“Don’t be pigeon-holed. Midlife career change is okay.” – Hermie the Elf
“Friends are the truest treasures.” – Yukon Cornelius
“Even I end up on the naughty list sometimes.” – Santa
And then there’s my favorite character, the abominable snow monster, known as the Bumble. I’m telling you why - because he scared my little brother to distraction. We’d be watching the show, and as the scary music cued the snow monster’s entrance, my brother would scramble behind the couch and hunker down into tornado-drill position. I still tease him about it.
So what would the Bumble’s message be? I think first we have to consider a few questions concerning his villainous behavior. Was his meanness intentional? Did his parents fail to teach him social graces? Was his aggressive behavior masking deep feelings of loneliness? Were the holidays stressing him out? Well, here’s my 2 cent diagnosis: I think the Bumble’s approach was off-putting. He opened his mouth and all the wrong things came out. His thoughtlessness made him look like a monster.
I know I’ve stepped in the Bumble’s big, snowy footsteps: Open mouth, insert foot, and chew vigorously.
And when I catch myself mid-bite on some sharp words, to my horror, I just keep going. Or I backtrack. Or I fumble an apology. Then I lie in bed at night replaying the disastrous scene over in my head in penance for my stupidity. “When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.” (Psalm 73:21-22) The monster resides in us all – sin nature. It roars and rattles the cage, wanting to gain complete control.
That’s why I’m so glad that Bumbles bounce. (Remember that the Bumble was safe after falling over a cliff because he rebounded.) It’s a lesson in the buoyancy of hope. Psalm 51:10 says “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” We need not live with the monster mentality of sin when there is a way to bounce back. Resilience is a gift that comes each time we come to Jesus with a repentant heart and seek forgiveness. It’s a second, fortieth, and one-millionth chance.
Oh, and in case you’ve been wondering, the Bumble’s message might be this, “There’s hope for me yeti.”