(From Laurie Troublefield, a longtime close friend and ministry mate. I think you'll enjoy this—I sure did.)
"The Jesus Shuffle"...have you experienced it? I hadn't, until this morning, at the gym. I awoke this morning feeling NOT myself...had gone to sleep feeling the same way. "Stuff" bugging me, emotions all over the place, and just this insecurity I could not get rid of, no matter how hard I tried. So, I knew for me, a good workout would help...hit things, sweat, you know...get it all out. So, off to the gym I went, phone in hand to play something while I would sweat out the crap. Then, I couldn't get the download of a podcast I wanted so I decided to just play some music. Now I have lots of styles of music on my phone, lots of genres, lots of SONGS. But, as I began to work out, and the music played in my ears, something really amazing began to happen...Jesus showed up in my "shuffle!" Each song that came through, totally at "random", spoke to me of my true reality, my true self, and His amazing presence in my life as EVERYTHING. At one point, while on the bike, I found myself singing out loud (thankfully they gym here plays very loud radio) and my arms lifted in worship...and I didn't care...LIFE was happening to me and I had no other response than to be FREE!
Sometimes, I ask myself, is this Jesus really REAL? Have I concocted some crazy way of believing that makes me feel I have purpose and meaning, but in reality, it's all just a placebo for the pain this world is and shares freely without warning with all who inhabit it? I don't often stay there long, thankfully. But, today, once again, without me even asking, praying, trying in anyway, Jesus "shuffled" His way into my insanity and turned me again to hope...not hope for something, but hope in LIFE, hope in Truth, hope in HIM! It was amazing!
Now, here's the best part (not in terms of my experience, but in how TRUE He really is, despite me!)...it didn't last. I came home and went into my day, meeting, teaching preparation, and various other "duties." And "it" faded! What is "it"? The feeling, the being overwhelmed with gratefulness for such a kind and generous experience with my Jesus..."it" left me...but HE didn't! He was there before, during and He'll be there forever after. And it doesn't matter whether I feel "it" for a minute, an hour, a day, or even never. He is my reality...and I don't have any deeper desire than Him. So, my day wasn't all fun and ooey gooey...but it was real. And tonight, as I am about to go to sleep, I am rather amazed once again at how loved, how cared for, how desirable, how completely accepted and acceptable, I am.
If you haven't known or experienced the Jesus "shuffle" before...well, I can't tell you how to do so, but I can tell you, He's got a way of "shuffling" into our reality without invitation or notice...and you will never be sorry He did!