God Needs a Job … September 6, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1998)

now hiringHe has an impressive list of abilities and accomplishments.

After all, He created the universe, and even if you only want to give Him credit for portions of that process, it’s still pretty magnificent–if He only came up with the idea of evolution.

I think every child of earth should be appreciative of His ingenious proposal of sexual pleasure leading to procreation.

Sunrises and sunsets would be very difficult to duplicate.

Needless to say, the Fellow (or Lady, depending on your sentiment) is predisposed to creative bursts of energy and rejuvenation. So it’s fascinating to me that we take this well-qualified candidate and limit His job description to “bless” and “damn.”

Truthfully, the only time we ever invoke His name, other than the Facebook “OMG,” is when we’re asking Him to bless something or we get in a fussy mood and require His damnation skills.

How odd.

But I’ve always believed that if you want to understand the nature and future of a society, you should study both it’s prayers and it’s comics.

When the prayers are insipid–lacking mercy, justice and practicality–you can tell that the spiritual systems that exist will not have the energy to lift the burdens they’ve levied upon the people.

When the comics are more preoccupied with silliness, foolishness or just a general spirit of grumpiness instead of leading us to do something rather than damn one another, then you pretty well know there is no common enlightenment of the people in store.

Thus, OUR time. We choose to bless things, and if we don’t feel we can do that, we damn them. So we take the greatest intellect imaginable–and relegate Him to ceremonial acts of bestowing mystical fairy dust on certain projects, only to bring down the thunder of Thor on those who would dare to disagree with us.

To say it is childish would be an insult to children. It is worse than that.

It is short-sighted.

And people who possess that lack of vision always perish by falling off a nearby cliff.

I’d like to give God a job. I am hiring Him, as of today, to do four chores for me:

  1. Show me where I’m stupid before everybody sees I’m stupid, which makes me feel really, really stupid.
  2. Lead me to one person in this twenty-four hour period who needs help, so I can feel good about myself and he or she can have a meal in their belly.
  3. Let me stay current with world events without becoming cynical or escaping into fantasy.
  4. Let me notice the natural order already exists and has lasted a long time. The more I learn it, the smarter I appear.

The wage I will pay for this magnificent list of accomplishments?

  • My devotion.
  • My “thank yous.”
  • And my reasonable conviction that You not only exist … but You would love to do something other than bless and damn.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

Shell-rocked … July 27, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1956)

faithlutheranshellrock

  • The me you see
  • The me that’s me
  • The me I’m freed to be

 It’s three different people, you know. Maybe success in life is about getting that trio of personalities to blend into oneness—for if they stay separate, there can be a lot of frustration.

As I head off tomorrow morning to Faith Lutheran Church in Shell Rock, Iowa, I am completely aware that God was speaking the obvious when He said that “man looks on the outward appearance.”

Honestly, my dear friends, my outward appearance has never been my “best foot forward,” unless you are fond of stumbling:

  1. I am fat.
  2. I am certainly NOT tall, dark and handsome.
  3. The aging process has relieved me of my hair.
  4. And I don’t seem powerful because my knees are pretty bad and I utilize a wheelchair to cover long distances.

Now at first reading of this description, you might be sympathetic, or even feel that I need your pity. But that’s the me you see. That is not the me that’s me.

The me that’s me is a father who has raised six sons, traveled the country many times over, written symphonies, books, movies, and has performed in front of hundreds of thousands of people.

I learned early in my life that my best shot was to abandon beauty, my “good looks,” and instead, take a good look at myself and find the best way to be of benefit to others, and therefore find great prosperity in my soul.

new jon and janSo what does that mean?

It means that I’ve developed a sense of humor about how I look, a sense of passion about what I do and a deep abiding gratitude for who I’ve been freed to be.

For you see, that is the third process. God has come along and given me permission to be a new creature—born again, as it were. He has implanted in my spirit notions, ideas and promises that don’t always jibe with my reality, but still remain available if I’m willing to accept them by faith.

Take salvation, for example. I’m glad He handles that particular arena. If I were in charge of salvation, I would first of all have to always be a good person, saying all the right things, while being that guy who believes in life after death even in moments of doubtful consideration.

But I don’t have to worry about that.

The reason most people get shell-shocked on their way to Shell Rock is because they become anxious about what other people are going to think about them and they don’t have much confidence in God pulling off His part. They have bookends of insecurity, making them very nervous about their own package of talent.

I fully expect the people in Shell Rock to initially see me as a fat guy rolling along in a wheelchair. In fact, if it were a silent film, that would be it. But life isn’t a silent film:

  • We get the chance to have a voice.
  • We get the chance to express ourselves.
  • We get the chance to be loving.
  • We are afforded the opportunity to be generous.
  • We are provided moments when we can be confrontational in a way that benefits the common good.

And I am not about to ever forget that even though people may have an immediate visceral reaction to me and I may have gifts that can overcome that prejudice, it still holds no candle to how much I am loved by my Father.

If you’re going to be successful on Planet Earth, you have to realize that the me that people see can never, ever be perfected. No matter how many times you lift your face, tuck your belly or comb your hair, someone will have a problem with your appearance.

So spend more time with the “me that’s me,” and perfect the art of being yourself. And don’t be afraid to move towards excellence.

Because when it’s all done, even when people reject your offering as a whole, you can come home to the “me you’re freed to be” … in the arms of your Father in heaven.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

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