Little ole jesus seems so nice, so familiar. He speaks with a voice that I recognize, in fact he sounds just like me. He has come by his opinions by dredging the bottom of Longing Lake and Pain Point and all the stupid stuff I have done. You would think this would make him wise, but he is an ass. He puts me in my place, he likes to keep me small and weak, he is lecturing and shaming. He is a rule-master, keeping score, reminding me of where I fall down. He is the distant-finger-pointer.
Little ole jesus is made in my own image. The more I hold him up, the more the air comes out. And he smells. He is little more than a shell shrieker and hell raiser. His favorite play list is Shame by Beyonce’d Yo Ass Outa Here! He a Spiritual Suzanne Summers, he likes you and I to reduce, shrink and buy his products. He likes it best when he can keep me locked in my own prison, walled by doubt and fear, jealousy and judgment, compulsiveness and secrets. Here I will wither and I will die. Lil ole jesus speaks with my own voice, he comforts me with whiskey on his breath as he tightens the noose under my chin. Little ole jesus is Resistance (For a superb discussion of Resistance, see Steven Pressfield, “The War of Art,” 2002).
The real Jesus is easily missed. Quiet and knocking. Not punching, nor shocking. Opening and whispering. Jesus has skin on. He does not sell products or memberships… but for a limited time he is giving away Air miles that do not expire. Before I could get up and earn it, he gave me a gift. He is the Gift giver without strings, creative and artistic. Life giving and full of hope. Truth giver not rule-giver. He gives me gifts, uses my gifts, enjoys my gifts and is on fire when I’m on fire. He is life-giving.
Jesus reminds me to enjoy life and to love with open hands. He is with me when I step up and make a change, when I risk, when I am vulnerable and when I give away water. Where I am real, he is real. He is a fellow-artist, a fellow-of-risk, a co-labor-ator. He sets me up to Flourish, to Thrive. Jesus loves the 2.0, the sequel. He is God of rewrites and second drafts. He knows more about renovation than Mike Holmes. He takes the freely offered and creates the Second Half. He doesn’t listen to excuses and yawns at my victim talk. He sees through it all. He sees who I can be and uses who I am to get there. Where I press forward, he is already there. And Jesus… he can bench press Chuck Norris, and in case you are wondering Who let the Dogs Out? Well, that was Jesus.
Jesus makes me better and BADDER. A better man, a better husband, better father… less butter and just better. That is the Jesus I am listening to. Which Jesus do you listen to?
Keep it real.