Don’t Bury Your Nose: The Moment Rudolph Encounters Faith
- Chad Napier Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2019 25 Nov
The beauty of ‘aha’ moments in life is that they arrive like unexpected gifts. They surprise you with insight, offering value you hadn’t found significant until now. We can read the same Bible versions dozens of times over the years, yet find a hidden golden nugget one day when it was most useful to us spiritually. We can watch our favorite movies over and over and grasp something new each time.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is one of these movies.
I’ve watched it at least once each December for the last 40 Decembers. If you aren’t familiar with the story, Rudolph was born with a shiny red nose that lights up. As you know, this attribute is completely different from ordinary reindeer.
It took some time, but after being “made fun of” by the normal reindeer, Rudolph became aware he was a different creation. He couldn’t blend or fit in with the others as much as he tried.
Rudolph Would Rather Not Be Different
As the story unfolds, the reindeer are all discussing the upcoming “showing” as to who will be awarded the ability to be one of Santa’s “flyers” in the Junior Reindeer games.
This reindeer, specially-selected by Santa, would be entrusted in the assisting of the delivery of packages on Christmas Eve. All “flyers” are awarded the “Medal of Valor” which stands for “courage, character, and a heart that’s true.”
Rudolph’s classmates ridicule him for thinking he had the attributes to be considered as a “flyer” while forgetting the necessary characteristics. They laugh and instantly disregard him as a prospect—because of his nose.
So Rudolph buries his nose in the snow.
That’s where Santa finds Rudolph...nose stuck in the snow in disgust. As they converse, eventually Rudolph sneezes. And his unique external feature is on full display. Once he reveals himself, Santa immediately says, “you must be Rudolph.” Rudolph then wonders, “how did you guess?”
From the outside, Rudolph looked like any ordinary reindeer, but when the red shining nose appeared, Santa realized the reindeer’s true identity.
God Looks at The Heart
The ‘a-ha’ moment for Rudolph, and for me, occurs when Santa assures Rudolph it only matters what is inside our hearts.
Rudolph was judged by his peers for his different appearance. Santa, however, gave him the divine message, and the understanding—that the status of the heart is the determining factor of his worth.
God reminded Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7 “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
God doesn’t judge us from the outside. However, He often uses our “outward” abilities for the glorification of the gospel. We need to remind ourselves of Psalms 139:14 that despite our physical differences and deficiencies we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.”
God Creates Perfectly
All of God’s works are wonderful and He is worthy of our praise.
Unfortunately, society does not usually consider the purpose for our differences. It’s often widely-assumed that we’re are all to have perfect noses, full heads of hair, and straight white teeth. In today’s judgmental world, Rudolph would have an inbox full of plastic surgeons’ ads.
Our God, however, made everything perfect. The shades of our skin, our deficits, our figures, are all part of His design and have a spiritual purpose.
Rudolph’s red nose had an expectation that was yet to be discovered. If you’ve watched the movie, you know that his nose is what ultimately uplifts him. We each have our own differences, and like Rudolph, we often question their purpose.
But also, like Rudolph, we can trust that God knows who we are, why He made us this way, and that He has a purpose for each of us.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Brigitte Tohm
Christ Commands Us to Be a Peculiar or Different People
In 1 Peter 2:9, we are called to be a “chosen” and “peculiar people.” We should live a life reflective of our “praises of him who hath called [us] out of darkness into his marvelous light.” We are fully enabled in this light to reflect it upon a dark world.
Rudolph was bestowed with a shiny red nose, which was “peculiar” to the other reindeer. Because of his difference, he was regarded as an outcast. God, however, uses our differences for His Glory.
Just as Rudolph’s nose was used for Santa to guide his journey in delivering presents on Christmas, we are to use our gifts, talents, and differences to shine upon a lost society in need of brightening and enlightenment. The “package of salvation” needs to be delivered—and our heart’s desire is to be an agent for salvation on this eve of Christ’s appearing.
We all have different talents and gifts. Sometimes our talent or gift is difficult to identify and when we do, to determine how to use it to glorify God. In Ephesians 2:10, we are reminded “for we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Moses in Exodus 4:10 pleaded, “to the Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” When we question God’s perfect plan and design, we can be assured He has something planned.
We are told in Jeremiah 29:11, that He knew this plan and it is a plan “to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Don’t Bury What You’re Given to Light the Way to Christ
The purpose of Rudolph’s “different nose” was not readily apparent. He had to be assured and given confidence that his heart was valued by God. We need to remind ourselves that the light of Christ will not be dimmed and we are to have the heart to utilize our time and talents for His kingdom.
God is fully knowledgeable of our outsides, but He only judges the heart. Often our physical and mental deficits lead to greater spiritual strength and reliance on God. We are to let our light shine.
We may not shine a physical light like Rudolph, but all believers have the spiritual light of our testimony about mercy, grace, forgiveness, and salvation by and through our Lord Jesus Christ. Even when our light fails to glimmer as much as it should, our inside can be full of joy, offering love toward an often loveless world.
We may be disregarded, ridiculed, and passed over because of our light, but rest assured our light is able to penetrate any and all barriers or cloaks of darkness. Remember we are told in 1 Corinthians 12:5-6, “there are different kinds of service, but the same Lord” and “different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.”
The world is to see the light and not our lantern. More specifically, a lost society will see “the light” and not our shiny red nose. We are to have the heart to let it shine, let it shine!
Chad Napier is a believer in Christ, attorney at law, wannabe golfer, runner, dog lover, and writer. He enjoys serving his church as a deacon and Sunday School teacher. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and at his golf devotion par3sixteen.com. He and his wife Brandi reside in Tennessee with their canine son Alistair.
Photo Credit: ©Wikimedia.org