I was on my way home from work in the car the other day. It’s a largely uneventful, seven mile drive. In fact, the only thing of note that’s occurred in the two years I’ve driven this route was a couple of weeks ago, when I had to pull up at a zebra crossing to let someone cross. I took a picture.
If I live to be ninety, I think it’s unlikely that I’ll ever get another chance to see an elderly woman, riding a mobility scooter whilst towing a miniature horse, in the middle of Wythenshawe. I’m assuming that the horse was some sort of battery backup for the scooter or the woman was taking the words, ‘Zebra Crossing’ literally and the little black and white thing she was dragging was the closest she could get.
I’ve made the journey more than eight hundred times, but aside from tiny Mancunian nags, I usually just have the back of other people’s cars to stare at. I get to see all the usual bumper and window stickers, telling me that the driver has been clever enough to get someone pregnant and now has a ‘child on board’, or that I should be supporting the work of one pigeon sanctuary or another.
I do get a bit irritated by the Christian fish symbol ones, though. I suppose that the driver is just stating their affiliation, but I always feel that I’m getting a finger wagged at me. The car in front contains souls earmarked for saving, but my vehicle, absent the appropriate emblem, is on the A666.
“Check us out, you heathen. We’re statistically less likely to be involved in a serious RTA. We’ve got the badge and we’re with the Big Fella.”
Last Wednesday, I saw a new twist on the familiar motif. It looked like this.
There was no explanation about the letters, but the light was on red for a good thirty seconds which allowed me to work it out. The ‘J’ had to be Jesus, him being the central figure in Christianity and all that. A bit more head scratching lead me to the rest.
‘What Would Jesus Do?’
The bloke in the car might well live his entire life according to this particular credo, but the message was for me, not him, otherwise he’d have it on his dashboard or tattooed on his hand.
So I spent the rest of the evening thinking, ‘What Would Jesus Do?’
When wrestling with the big philosophical questions of life or dealing with matters of conscience, I imagine it’s a very useful tool to the average Christian. Its simplicity probably eases the decision making process, but if you apply it literally it’s not so effective.
I was trying to fix one of the drawers in the kitchen. We bought it from IKEA nine years ago, so I can’t quite believe it’s gone wonky. The screwdriver I was using was a little too big to get into the gap to access one of the screws, so I took a deep breath and thought, ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ It was no good to me. Even though his dad was a carpenter, people in
two thousand years ago can’t have been familiar with modular, flat packed furniture. With the best will in the world, Jesus would have only been able to give me some general advice about taking my time and not swearing, but that wouldn’t get the drawer fixed. Nazareth
Later, I was trying to watch Curb Your Enthusiasm, but realised that two things were being taped on Sky Plus. The box was giving me the choice of deleting Family Guy or Modern Family, both programmes which I wanted to watch. What Would Jesus Do? Once again, he was likely to be a bit stumped by the technology. By the time I’d have explained the system (as well as backtracking through the invention of television and the harnessing of electrical power), Curb would have finished.
He was able to help me just before bed, though.
I was brushing my teeth and contemplating a shave. I’d not bothered for a couple of days and on looking in the mirror, I couldn’t decide if I looked rugged or dishevelled. I thought about it for a few seconds and then chanted my mantra.
“What Would Jesus Do?”