“And Also, Jesus.”

I say this phrase far too often.

Lately I started the Daniel Fast. It’s inspired by the Bible’s Daniel, who resisted eating the king’s food to prove his faith. When friends ask me why I’m partaking it, I usually say, “Well I’m trying to eat healthier and focus on a holistic health and not drink as much coffee…and also, Jesus.”

Or coworkers ask me about weekend plans, “Shopping with a friend, getting coffee, working out…and also, Jesus.”

Jesus doesn’t pop into my head naturally.

He’s usually at the bottom of the conversational list, or even daily to-do tasks. Wake up. Brush teeth. Breakfast. Work. Climb. Dinner. Unpack. And also, Jesus.

Jesus didn’t die to be an afterthought. He died to be at the forefront of my mind, at the very center of my core. He died so I can embrace new freedom to be healthy and happy, but mostly so I can be holy. He died so I can walk worthy and righteous with him accompanying me for every bump in the road, valley among mountains.

“Firstly, Jesus.”

I want to say this more. And mean it.

Wake up. First Jesus. Then everything.

I pray Jesus can be in and around and all over me. That when I walk up, people get a whiff of him. “Oh, Jesus. You must know that man.” Why yes, he’s my very best friend. I pray Jesus can live and breathe and work through me. “Oh, Jesus. I see him in you.” The very highest compliment I could ever receive.

To tell people I spend time with Jesus on the weekends. Tell people I fast because I love Jesus and desire to attune my heart to his. Tell people I live differently and wonderfully because I know Jesus.

I want to talk to him during my long car rides. I want to laugh with him when I embarrass myself in front of a cute barista I’m secretly in love with. I want to weep with him when I feel lonely and afraid in a hateful world.

Firstly, Jesus. Always Jesus.

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