Is the Snuggles Bear the Stuff of Nightmares?

When you’re gone, Snuggles the  Bear will hover over your sleeping baby, and drape a blanket on her. Isn’t it great to know child care is so simple these days?

I’m sure this commercial was made to be sweet, or perhaps so jolting as to be memorable. Personally, teddy bears rate right behind Chatty Kathy dolls, and right before Sock Monkeys for my childcare needs. Snuggles is really the stuff of nightmares…. or is he?

Have you noticed that it’s not the wisest choice to put words in someone’s mouth.

For example, I highly doubt teddy bears make good babysitters, even under the best circumstances, with the most eloquent, and most intelligent stuffed bears. It hasn’t been my experience anyway. The biggest problem is dialing 911. Their paws usually dial 991. It makes many parents leery. Me, for one.

This is a 30 second commercial of the babysitting Snuggle Bear….cute or chilling?

Can’t the same thing happen in our relationships? Our perceptions place certain expectations or presuppositions that have little or no connection to Reality. How do our wrong perceptions change to be more correct? The simple answer: Deeper relationships, and a fuller knowing of the other.

Doesn’t the same thing happen in theology? (Our study of God, be it formal or folk.) You or I can determine what God is like, or what “he” is up to, but the voiceover won’t really be accurate.

1. The movements we imagine will be stiff and unreal.

2. Our humanity will skew our translation of God.

3. We’ll make determinations about his sovereignty, or attitudes, in ways that probably reveal more about us, than God.

And when all this happens, we make God into our own image. It works best when it’s the other way around. We grow and mature, as we give in to our Creator, and mirror those qualities of love, holiness, goodness, and mercy.

Is there a way to cut to the marrow, and perceive better?

Probably. I believe it stands to reason that when we speak of God, we must begin to understand “him” on “his” terms, not ours. We start with his nature, with God’s holiness, perfection, omni-benevolence, and mercifulness. If it were not so that God is thus, there would not be enough evidence or reason for all there is that is good, and beautiful in creation, and even in us. We bear this image, in part, as does the world designed so intricately by a Supreme Being we only begin to understand.

After that starting point, we continue what must be a humble (and unassuming) path to pray (ask, request) for the desire to know and love God, and to see God as “he” is. God’s revelations abound, if we have the eyes to see. I once was blind, but now I see.

What perceptions of other people, or of God have changed for you?

Anything else on your mind?


5 responses to “Is the Snuggles Bear the Stuff of Nightmares?

  1. Sure Chatty Cathy talks, but does she listen? Is she attentive?

  2. Wow, that post really took off! I love the thought of letting God define the terms. Our small group is talking about prayer these days, and we’re focusing in particular on “Suggestion Box God.” It’s been a theme all year for us, and I think it’s a tough concept to kill.

    • Can you expand on “suggestion Box God”? I’m not exactly sure what you mean.

      • As in, we drop our prayer requests to God as if he’s a big suggestion box and he has nothing other to do than read our suggestions and do our bidding. Perhaps “drive-through” God is a bit better? In other words, we’re working more on a relational, honest approach to God, while maintaining a healthy balance in our petitions to him. Does my two cents make cents?

  3. Oh, yes. It does. It think it’s one of the most common prayer foibles Christians have going.

    I’ve written about this too. “The Vending Machine God” or “God the Butler”.

    As relational creatures, I think we be loath to think that our mate thought of us this way. But, the challenge, especially at the beginning of our walk with God, is to not see him as a wish grantor. He is our Rescuer, sure, but what he rescues us from is most often ourselves, as the Holy Spirit works to make us more like Christ.

    A more developed, mature, (simple yet sophisticated) relationship with this Being we call God, is relational, not chiefly petitionary. Indeed!