So during the sermon or homily at this Sunday’s Mass, the priest told the story of a “Peanuts” comic strip. He was concerned that “Peanuts” might not be known as the creator and writer for the strip had died 17 years ago, and the comic has no new stories since then, only re-runs.
The strip he recounted had Lucy (?) in her psychiatrist booth, and Charlie Brown. And Lucy tells Charlie Brown, that on cruise ships, some people would set up their deck chairs facing the rear (stern) of the ship and they could see where they had been. Others would set up facing the front (bow) of the ship and see where they were going. So, Lucy asked, which way is your deck chair facing, Charlie Brown?
And Charlie Brown says, “I can’t even unfold the deck chair”. Or something to that effect.
So the priest says, on the cruise ship of life, are your deck chairs facing the rear? Are you focused on the past?
And I thought, you mean, like basing your sermon on a comic strip that is 17 years dead?
Or, the priest continued, oblivious to my silent critique, are you facing the future? Or are you like Charlie Brown, confused by life, and unable to unfold your deck chair?
On the cruise ship of life, where are you?
Well, I replied silently, I think my mother is in the on-board casino, and I am in the dining room exploring the buffet. We’re Singaporeans. We don’t do deck chairs, and sunbathing. In hot humid SG, we avoid the sun as far as possible.