The Cucumbers Who Don’t Do Anything


My favorite children’s song ever is, “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything.


I know, I know… but I love the goofy, childhood humor in the lyrics. And the very concept that the whole song is about pirates who just lie around and don’t do anything is hilarious. 


“And I’ve never licked a spark plug
And I’ve never sniffed a stink bug,
And I’ve never painted daisies on a big red rubber ball,”


Of course you haven’t, Larry the Cucumber. Those aren’t even things that real pirates do. (I have accidentally sniffed a stink bug, and it is not something you ever want to do again.)


As regular readers of this blog know, I am a big fan of contemporary Christian music. I love songs with deep theological connections to our faith. When Casting Crowns sang the line, “Every tear I’ve ever cried, you hold in your hand” in “Praise You in the Storm” I was amazed to find what it said in Psalm 56:8:


You keep track of all my sorrows.
    You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
    You have recorded each one in your book. (NLT)


That’s a God who cares about me and loves me. 


I wrote a whole blog post on a single phrase in “King of Heaven Come Down” by Paul Baloche. (See “Rescued for Glory” –August 27, 2013.) 


The thing is, “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything” has absolutely no deep theological meaning. There is no mention of the Bible, Jesus, God, not even Moses or Jael. (Go ahead and look up “Jael.”) There is nothing anything even remotely related to Christian theology. No predestination, no predeterminism, no Calvinism, no Arminianism,  no transubstantiation.


None. Nada. Zip.


In fact, since my good friend and brother in Christ, Announcer Allen Jones is semi-famous for finding the Spiritual Application in any situation and has even invented and hosted a radio game-show involving listeners and the imminently likable fellow announcer Steve Ware in Spiritual Apps, I hereby challenge Mr. Jones (Allen) to come up with a spiritual application for the song, “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything.


And, just to make it tougher, I am going to stipulate that the concept that if we just lie around and don’t do anything, we are missing out on all the blessing God desires to give to us as it is not a legitimate spiritual application of this song. That simply does not fit with licking a spark plug or smelling a stink bug. Nope. Disallowed.


And that’s the point — it’s just fun. 


Sometimes, as Christians, one of our problems is that we are so intent on being serious about the serious stuff, we miss out on the fun in life. I think God wants us to enjoy life, to have fun, to bring joy to others by just being free. I think that’s what Jesus meant by coming to give us a full and abundant life. (John 10:10) 


So, if you’ll forgive me for getting theological about not being theological, I would remind you that it was the Pharisees who were the killjoys of the party. When Jesus told the story of the prodigal son, it was the older brother who stood outside the party and argued with his father while the party was going on. The Pharisees recognized that the example of the older brother in His story was about them. Instead of rejoicing and celebrating that the prodigal son had been dead and was now alive, they were complaining that he didn’t deserve it, never realizing that none of us deserve it. The tragedy of the Parable of the Prodigal Son is that while all the angels in heaven were rejoicing that a sinner had been saved, they were standing in the darkness complaining and gnashing their teeth outside the door instead of inviting others to the party!


And somewhere at that party, there is a big green cucumber named Larry singing about being a pirate who never threw his mashed potatoes up against the wall.


Today’s Praise

The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by all her children.” Luke 7:34 – 35 (NIV)


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