I finally got it.
I had seen the same stupid Aflac Insurance TV commercial a hundred times while watching TV as I rode my bike. For some reason, it comes on Hulu frequently. It’s the commercial with the Aflac duck at a yoga studio.
Now, to understand the story a bit better and what it is that I “got”, you need to know how I ride. I have a mountain bike hooked up to a bike trainer downstair so I can ride inside during the winter or when the weather is nasty outside. I usually ride for about 45-60 minutes while watching TV shows on Hulu on my laptop which I perch on a shelf near the bike. And, during the commercials I stand up and work as if I’m going up a hill to get the heart rate up and work the muscles a little differently. So, I don’t really watch the commercials. They are just some background noise in the headphones for a minute or two as I focus on pumping.
This commercial, however, had come on frequently and I had it as my “background noise” often. In the commercial, the duck is in the yoga studio. It is soon revealed that the duck is no good at yoga (which is not surprising). However, one of the students says to another, “Yeah, but, when I slipped a disk he paid my claim in just one day.”
(And, then, here’s the part I just got. )
Another student says: “So he had your back.”
Get it? “He had your back.” There’s a dual meaning there.
I had not “gotten it” before. The commercial had played in the background countless times and finally, just last week, I got that little joke. I actually let out a little giggle as it clicked in my brain and I sat down to watch the rest of the commercial that I had kinda’ seen so many times before.
You can see the commercial here if want the visual.
What surprised me (and I kept thinking about) was how many times I had heard that commercial before I finally understood that part of it; that little joke. It took, maybe, a hundred times or more before the pieces came together and it all clicked for me.
And this is such a simple little advertisement, of relatively little importance to my own life. It is, after all, just a commercial.
But I know of other things that it can take a while to “get.” Back in high school there was a friend who had trouble understanding Far Side comic strips and we’d explain them to her at lunch. There are songs I’ve worked on, vocally, that I just couldn’t “hear” the right notes to hit and, after practicing the piece again and again and again I finally got it. I’ve sung wrong lyrics to songs on the radio time after time until one day I heard the words correctly. I remember taking a class on 1 Corinthians in seminary and having my mind blown by a new interpretation of a text I had read time and time again.
It can take us a while to “get” things.
So, what about faith? Can it be assumed that, after one listen to a sermon or one Christian relationship or one testimony or one time through the Bible, someone will “get it”–that faith will “make sense” and they will “believe”? Or, is it more likely that it will take sermon after sermon, testimony after testimony, relationship after relationship, and lots of Scripture reading before one might “believe”?
God still works miracles but I think, more often than not, it’s the latter.
And that “aha” moment of faith could occur when the message has been relegated to background noise.
What this means then, is that it’s important for us to tell the story of faith often and surround our children and neighbors with environments where they hear the story of faith often…where they see it in action often. And then, perhaps when they least expect it, they’ll “get it.”
Or, perhaps a better way of saying it is that when they least expect it, faith will get them.
Who will you share the message of faith with today?