There’s a comedian that I’m a big fan of. He’s funny, quick-witted, original and seems to genuinely enjoy life. He comes across as the kind of guy you’d love to hang out with on a weekend. Jolly, always laughing, having a good time. And he’s a devout atheist.
I know very little about his personal life. Is he married? Does he have kids? Where does he live? What are his hobbies? Answer: I have no idea…on all four counts. One thing I do know is that he grew up in a working-class Christian home, loved the Bible and God and Jesus until he was eight, and then decided that he didn’t believe anymore. I’ve seen or read several interviews with him and this story comes out every time. Today, after hearing the story again, I started wondering, “Why is this story so important? Why does he keep telling it?”
If I had to guess, I’d say its because atheism is the lens through which he experiences life. Everything he eats, reads, hears, sees, and is a part of is filtered through his belief that there is no god. His atheism is the crux of his worldview in the same way Christianity is the crux of mine. At times, he almost comes across as an atheism evangelist, if there is such a thing. He’s not beligerent or bullying; he’s always very polite and matter-of-fact. I think he tells the story because that was the moment in which he began to use that set of beliefs (or non-belief) to explain everything around him, and he’s been using it for over thirty years now. When a belief is that crucial to your life, you tell people about it, right?
Which begs the question, “How many people have heard my story?”
True, I don’t get interviewed by magazines or go on Letterman, but I talk to people every day. We talk about sports, vacations, coffee, family, work, TV, Mexican food and all the other little events that make up a week. But as a Christian- as someone who claims that the Bible and the life of Jesus Christ are the lenses through which my whole world is experienced- I should be telling that story more often than I do. If I really believe it’s that important, people should be tired of hearing about it.
“Really, Jared? The Jesus stuff again? You tell this all the time…”
I haven’t had anybody say that to me. If they ever do, I’ll take it as a sign that I’m doing something right. (Acts 1:8)
How do you tell your story? Do you tell it enough? Comments are always welcome.