>Slapping the Gorilla

>One of my favorite pop culture references is the Fonz “jumping the shark.”  For those that don’t know, during a later episode of Happy Days, Arthur Fonzarelli was water skiing when, at just the right moment for drama, a SHARK came towards him.  So logically, he just jumped over it. As if years of fish hadn’t figured out that move already.  Most people point to this moment in the show as its downfall, the moment it became so ridiculous it was a parody of itself and completely useless.  In later years, this phrase has been challenged by “nuking the fridge.”  If you haven’t seen Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, watch the first ten minutes and you’ll understand.

One of my students recently began another class (History, not Bible) by proclaiming “Mr. Bishop (not me, the History teacher), have I ever told you what I want to do to a gorilla?”  Now, there are an infinite number of possible phrases and ideas that could follow that set-up, and every single one of them is hilarious, especially given the particular student involved.

His plan was that he was so annoyed by the fact that gorillas seemingly just sit around, he wanted to run up to one and slap it as hard as he could, then run away.  Of course, in this scenario, the gorilla is wearing a heavy-duty shock collar AND there is a small army with tranquilizer guns trained on the poor primate, but thats neither here nor there.  The point is, the kid wants to SLAP A GORILLA FOR FUN.

This is not the first time something completely ridiculous and incomprehensible has come from this young man this year. Nor will it be the last I suspect, and there’s only 3 weeks left. He’s that good.  But it got me thinking: What happened to my creativity?

I’m involved on our chapel planning team, as well as teaching bible, and Abby and I are beginning a new venture at church within the next couple of weeks (stay tuned!), so the outlets are there.  But for some reason, something as gloriously brilliant as gorilla slapping hasn’t crossed my mind.  When I think of high school and college and all of the fantastically idiotic/entertaining things I did, it makes me nostalgic and frustrated with my current self.

Paul states in Philippians 4 that he can do all things through Christ who strengthens him.  This attitude led him to nearly die multiple times, to jail, to foreign countries, and to immense amounts of suffering and inconvenience.

I want that attitude. I want to have such a strong faith in Jesus that I have the confidence to slap a gorilla, or at least do something bold for my Lord.

“Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!”  Mark 9:24

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