The Weird Things I Do With Jesus
In my college apartment a few years ago, I read this book that told me that Jesus was funny. Never had I thought about Jesus making jokes or having a sense of humor. With all due respects to growing up in a church, I had just believed Jesus was stone cold (but nothing like Stone Cold Steve Austin…. or maybe that comparison is right on.)
After reading Beautiful Outlaw, my understanding of who Jesus is began to change due to the simple belief that if we were made in God’s image, then the fact that I am absolutely hilarious came from him and his image.
So, I started to treat Jesus like he was real, and not a foreign God in the sky or a wrestling star I only saw once when I was 8 years old. (It was the 90’s in the midwest, okay?)
1. I let Jesus ride in my passenger seat of my car
Not in a metaphorical sense, like Jesus is just along for the ride. I actually pretend Jesus is sitting in the passenger seat of my car sometimes. I move my purse to the floor of my passenger seat, as opposed to setting it on the seat so that Jesus has room to sit. And we car-sing together.
Before you have me admitted or labeled as a Christian-freak (Whatever. I am, so go ahead anyway), I spend a lot of time in my car and figure it is a great time to spend time with him. Without asking for anything, or praying for direction, or forced connection. I just wanted to spend more time with him.
2. I watch Netflix with him
Netflix and Chill jokes aside, this one is similar to spending time with Jesus in the car. With doing so much writing and work, I can’t even make sentences some nights, so I relax by watching a very mindless TV series. I’ve been very focused on quality time with everyone lately-with an emphasis on putting our phones away. So, I make this deal in my head that if I watch a TV show with Jesus, I have to act as if he is a real person. So I make room for him on my bed, arrange the iPad screen so he would be able to see, and work very hard on not picking up my phone every 20 seconds. As if Jesus is actually physically sitting with me.
I am realizing this is very weird. But I want to stand by my belief that Jesus is very similar to us and wants a relationship that isn’t all business all of the time.
3. I yell at Jesus a lot.
A. LOT. Not in a cute way like the way Noah and Ally in The Notebook fight. In screams and yelling and tantrums…. all on my end. One-sided because Jesus is just great like that, and somehow he understands I have not grown past my angry phase.
Recently, I was driving back to Nashville from Michigan and hit a part of Kentucky that was winding and hilly. And then it started to rain hard. And it was dark outside. On my list of “Worst Possible Situations To Be In” driving in the rain at night is easily number 2. I prayed quietly for God to stop the rain. Then I asked him audibly out loud to at least slow down the rain. When it just rained harder, I yelled out “PLEASE MAKE IT STOP. I AM SCARED.”
For almost two hours, I yelled at him. I was scared and wanted his help and I didn’t feel anything on his end. For two hours, I screamed like I was involved in a bloody murder inside of my car while driving, “Okay. Don’t listen to me then! Where are you?! I need you. Where the heck are you?” I may have sworn at him, to be honest.
The rain didn’t stop. It didn’t get easier. And I don’t have an answer for why God didn’t help me, said the spoiled brat. But I apologized later when I was home safe in my bed, mentally exhausted from driving scared and yelling for hours.
I think I yelled about something else the next week.
4. I give him envelopes.
During the planning of my project, my biggest worry was how we were going to pay for everything. For airfare, AirBnBs, typical living expenses, all while still paying my bills back in Nashville and not carrying a client load. I would write out my budget plan, then two days write it out again because I picked up one more job. Look at it again, worry about it again, and fret about it at 2 in the morning wondering if my parents would be THAT disappointed if I worked at a strip club for just one night.
I was holding all of it myself, and not involving God in what was supposed to be a project we were doing together. (The project was really God’s idea.)
So one evening, I wrote out my budget one more time on journal paper. Ripped it out, put it inside of a mailing letter envelope and licked it shut. I wrote on the front “This is yours. I don’t want it.” And I told God that I would continue to do the work, but trust him to make it work. I put that physical envelope in my bedside drawer and resisted the urge to write out another budget.