That Joan Osborne song runs through my head whenever I reread Joan Brady’s God on a Harley, and over the past twenty-some years since I was first introduced to it, that’s happened at least four or five times. The premise is simple: a guy named Joe, who’s really Jesus/God and rides a mean Harley, takes to Earth in corporeal form, to give some one on one attention to humans and remind them of what he’s really about and how to live the gift of their lives to the fullest. This book and it’s two sequels, Heaven in High Gear and Joyride, both center around his visiting Christine Moore. She’s burned out, struggles to find inspiration or joy in her life, has no passion for work or love, and is hard on herself for her “less-than-perfect figure.” Enter Jesus Joe!
It may sound a little hokey, but every once in a while, I like reading books that break the complexities of life down into simpler, easier-to-follow, uplifting lessons. In this book, Joe helps Christine get over her ex (who had a previous “matrimonial-phobia” when he was with her, but in the start of the novel is happily married to someone else), get better control over her health, find joy in life, and passion in her work again. And it’s not through a romantic interest, either, which is always refreshing to me. Seeds are planted to that effect, but don’t even begin to germinate until the very end of the book. I appreciate how she gets her own life together, with the help of faith, discipline, and seeking joy.
Joe apparently has specific lessons for each person he meets, and Christine’s lessons are:
- Do not build walls for they are dangerous. Learn to transcend them.
- Live in the moment, for each one is precious and not to be squandered.
- Take care of yourself, first and foremost.
- Drop the ego. Be real. And watch what happens.
- All things are possible all of the time.
- Maintain Universal Flow. When someone gives, it is an act of generosity to receive. For in the giving, there is something gained.
Fairly good lessons to live by for pretty much everyone, I think. But some of us need help learning certain things rather than others. For example, I try very hard to maintain universal flow. That comes easier to me than taking care of myself, honestly. And I’ve found, like Christine did, that most of these lessons tend to meld together once you really embrace and live them out.