I’m a fan of Calvin and Hobbes. Yes, I respect (though often disagree) with their individual philosophical and theological views, but in this case I refer to their joint effort moderated by Bill Watterson. The comic strip was one of the driving forces (and primary materials) in my desire to learn to read, and has remained a favorite of mine up to the present. I recently bought “The Complete Calvin and Hobbes” and finished reading it just yesterday evening.
My similarity to Calvin (in personality and tastes anyhow) always surprises me. We are both selfish, intelligent (but lazy), thoughtless (but shrewd), crude, and flippantly dedicated to total self-indulgence. His enviromental tirades are probably the furthest point of departure, but even those rest on a shared appreciation of beauty. Really, the only major point of diversion is that of Jesus Christ. He is the reason I’m not (for lack of a better comparison) a six-year-old terror.
Those of you who know me may well point out that I can still be plenty selfish, but thank God he saw fit to continue forging me into something better than I was. Jesus’ life in me is solely responsible for anything I do or think which is pleasant or good. That said, I think it’s good to remember what an odious person I am from time to time, as it makes me appreciate what Christ has done all the more. Reading Calvin and Hobbes, and laughing at the rediculous hubris displayed therin, helps to do that.
On the other hand we are different in several ways, and I think there is something to be learned from Calvin. We could all learn from his boldness (even recklessness), his sense of justice, his frank speech, his piquant acuity, and his sense of adventure. So often I find myself (don’t we all?) shying away from speaking what I think, acting on conviction, or taking risks. Calvin knows nothing of constraint, which is his greatest strength and his most dire fault.
In a similar way to Jesus actually! Jesus is always going around unconstrained. He disobeys common sense, upsets the peace, condemns the pastors, praises the prostitutes, walks through riots (and even solid doors), even death could not hold him for long. I want to go about un-hindered like Jesus, and un-constrained.
So if you see me making a pest of myself, just think of Calvin, and laugh. You could hit me with a slushball or a waterbaloon while you’re at it! But think about the people you laugh at, dispise, or look up to. Are you so different from them? Think about Jesus, dwell on Him.