Don’t judge me when I say I can sometimes get jealous of Jesus.
Maybe it’s one of those things where you hear someone’s name so often you just get tired of it.
I don’t know.
Recently, my totally innocent daughter of seven decided to accept Jesus as her savior by being baptized at our local church. Good for her, I was there and encouraged her lovingly.
I’m not a complete monster!
I get it, she’s a sinner, right?
I don’t know, is she?
That’s what the preachers would have us believe. Something about, we have to teach our kids how to do good, otherwise they will naturally do what’s bad.
Like eat too much sugar and walk out in front of traffic mindlessly.
I don’t know, maybe we are just as stupid as goldfish and we’d just eat ourselves to death without supervision?
But, I kinda remember having a hard time getting my kids to stop playing long enough to come to the dinner table at all.
I do agree with the submersion in water thing, though. Very symbolic.
It’s high time that we know the truth.
We don’t have to slap a baby’s bottom to make it breathe. It comes out perfectly capable of recognizing its new environment and reaching for more stimulation.
Hopefully that baby will grow up with adults around that encourage gentle self-discipline, patience, kindness, grace, and mercy.
Good examples. I think that’s what’s most important.
Probably people that get jealous of Jesus may not be prime role models, but hey, at least I’m honest.
Maybe it’s just that I grew up with dinner-time prayer always ending with, we ask this in my name, or a simple, amen.
Of course, that’s when all of us kids didn’t go on to say,
“Brother Ben, shot the rooster and killed the hen.”
The first time I heard in Jesus’ name, at the dinner table, was after my teenage sister had been attending some non-denominational church too often.
Coincidentally, a church which got shut-down after the owner was caught embezzling money through donated automobiles or something like that. Whatever, it made big news.
Now here I am again, Jesus has made it to my own dinner table, and it has been rubbing me all wrong.
So, what’s wrong with ending a prayer in Jesus’ name?
Nothing if you don’t think you are worthy of praying to God yourself, I guess.
Yes, Jesus sacrificed himself for the sake of our sins. That was all part of God’s plan. As was the holocaust and so forth and so on. But, I’m not bringing it up every night at dinner! Also for God’s sake!
I wouldn’t be doing the world a favor by giving our kids a freakin’ Jesus complex.
When I visit Jerusalem I will spend a lot of time remembering Jesus and his sacrifice and praying in his name, perhaps. Just as when I visit Auschwitz, I will spend a lot of time remembering those who died in our ignorance of the value of human life.
There is a time and place for everything.
But when I pray to God, especially at the dinner table, it’s in my name, our name, or God’s name.
Because, that’s who the blessings happen to be coming through.
Am I wrong to feel this animosity?
A friend once told me that he decided to start blaming everything on Jesus as well as thanking him.
“Why,” I’d asked?
“Well, I keep thanking him for everything that happens but I still keep getting blamed for doing all the footwork.”
“How so?” I said.
“Well, I bought Patricia a car last week. We really needed the space for the kids.”
“Well, we thanked Jesus for it.”
“Sure. What a blessing,” I said.
“Yeah, well, I’m still paying for it, working overtime and she can’t seem to wonder why Jimmy’s having a hard time at school. Says to me I work too much and don’t spend enough time with him on his homework.”
“Well, you do.” I told him, taking her side but getting his point.
“So’s I told her that if she she’s gonna thank Jesus she might as well blame him, too.”
“No. I Didn’t. What? You think I don’t know what winning an argument with my wife looks like.”
“A lot like sleeping out in the driveway I would guess.”
I don’t worship Jesus.
Probably gonna piss a lot of people off with that one, but hey, I’d never ask you to worship me, even if I thought I was God herself.
Did you like that plug? Yeah, I don’t know.
I do things in God’s name. For his sake. Even for his son’s sake.
In return, I hope and pray that he will do the same for me. That is, if I’m ever the one on the other side of the ether and he’s the one on this side of the real.
I mean, I actually remember scratching my dad’s back as a kid and then looking at the dirt under my fingernails.
I probably thought it was fun. He probably thought it was service.
I can deal with, we ask this in your son’s name, because we’re all the son of God.
It’s not that I don’t love you Jesus, nor that I don’t think and hope that I will see you later, it’s just that you’re stealing my thunder!
I heard once that a man does his best work on his knees, but I just can’t seem to see how I can get any work done while groveling.
Another guy said to wish in one hand and take a dump in the other to see which one fills up first.
Is that a testament to physical action?
If it is, I’m uncertain that a hand full of shit is any better than one of fresh air. You’re just gonna have to wash your hands later and your only company will probably be the flies.
So, win one for team prayer.
Regardless, I will do some good work and hope it doesn’t end up being shit. I will try and make the world a better place everyday, through my writing, through my art, through my interactions with strangers.
And yes, I’ll pray.
But if I don’t ask things in his name I will never get what I want, right?
I am going out on a limb here and saying that God never gave anyone what they wanted.
People got what they prayed for in the bible, yes. But it was God’s will for them to get it, just as it is God’s will to extend grace and mercy to mankind.
It’s not because we deserve it.
Man’s desire has never moved God. Or has it?
There were many points in the old testament that God sought the advice of his offspring.
So, maybe. You tell me.
There have been many popular writers like Neale Donald Walsh and Eckhart Tolle which advise that you can never get what you want by wanting it. That’s only telling the universe you don’t possess it.
Instead they advise that you must just have faith that you already posses it until it shows up. (Something about how the universe possesses it and we’re all part of the universe)
But, it sounds an awful lot like not being greedy and putting your faith in Jesus to me.
To me that’s just lazy.
Yet, there was another wise set of people that once advised us that we can’t always get what we want, but they believed that you must at least try.
Too bad they were just a couple of Rolling Stones.
I will extended the grace and mercy of God to others and strive to grow and be kind. I will also do my best to have fun and enjoy my service because I don’t want anyone thinking I’m not having the time of my life.
You deserve to have the time of yours, too!
So, try and not get jealous!
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Jay Horne is an author and publisher out of Bradenton, Florida. He is a husband and father of four.
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