6 year old Wild Faith Jake

Why God Made Weird Kids

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My whole life, I’ve dabbled in all forms of awkward and embarrassing. Between the ages of four and ten, I would wear sweat pants for dress clothes, while sporting a comb over. (It seemed practical and dapper.) I often built fires in the back yard, to cook myself meals. I spent most of my youth freely eating people’s leftovers, that were abandoned or thrown in the trash at school. It wasn’t from hunger, their waste just bothered me!
I grew up with a mom that ran a daycare and this presented me with lots of opportunities to be wild and weird.  As a teenager I wore whatever was cheap or free and I often ate everything with my hands. I would regularly sleep outside under the stars rather than in my bed.  My entire life I have loved the humor in awkward moments, this has made awkward social interactions my happy place. Being weird is one of my biggest assets in life.   You might be thinking “how is being awkward or weird an asset?” Awkward and weird people are typically very independent and fearless of their own pursuits. Regardless if they get this way because of ignorance or intelligence, awkward people have confidence!

Awkward people have confidence!

Let me tell you about my time as a six-year-old snake peddler! I think it’ll be a perfect example of the natural relationship between being weird and the confidence it exudes.
 The sun was shining on a hot and humid spring day in Brainerd Minnesota. I was trying my hardest to ride my bike through a small wooded area, across from our house where I had decided to make a new bike trail. The shade felt nice and I had figured that bushwhacking had to start somewhere. Not long into my endeavor, and growing tired of getting hung up in the thick brush an idea suddenly popped into my head! If I got some speed, pedaling from across the street then maybe I could shoot right through the brush!  That would have to be a better way to make this trail!

“Bushwhacking has to start somewhere!”

I dragged myself and my bike out of that thicket. I pedaled across the street to the field next to our house. It was perfectly lined up with the wooded lot. I pondered my strategy as I waited for a car to drive by. I knew where I chose to enter the thicket would have to be exact, with all the narrow birch trees scattered on the lot. They looked small, but I knew from my previous adventures that they had no give. If I crashed into one, it would hurt! I thought to myself, “I ride BMX, I got this!” That was all the pep talk I needed. I took off like a bolt, peddling as hard as I could! I aimed between two tree’s and flew into the thicket!
As I entered the thicket, I immediately felt the stinging of branches that whipped my face! There was a sudden jerk as the bike was torn free from my grip and I was launched completely airborne! I was a flying, ginger rocket!  As quickly as it had began, it was over with a wham!!! I had crashed into the thick undergrowth of a willow stand! I had a face covered in dirt and my mouth was full of old, moist leaves.

“I ride BMX, I got this!”

                             Wild Faith Jake with his Family
I lay there for a moment stunned, trying to decide how my idea had gone south so quickly? Not long after crashing I felt something moving by my face. I turned my head just in time to see the smooth, white underbelly of a snake slithering and wriggling into the leaves! I wish I could say that I kept my cool, but I definitely did not.  Astonished, I screamed the high-pitched scream of a young boy, whose voice hadn’t changed yet!
 I composed myself and took a closer look at the snake, which was making fairly good headway in the leaves. I had screamed more out of surprise than anything else. Now, I was curious to watch this little snake. It was a garter snake and was tiny, but moved amongst the leaves with satisfying ease. I couldn’t help myself, I reached down and picked it up gently. I was sure to be careful, like I had been taught to do with hatch chicks.  The snake wasn’t as careful with me however and it immediately bit me on my hand! I couldn’t help from letting out another yelp.
Wild Faith Jake's first house across the street from the over grown lot.
I had learned from grandma the summer before that garter snakes weren’t poisonous. With that knowledge in mind, I decided the that the bite didn’t really hurt or cause enough damage to tattle on myself. Besides, I’d likely get in to trouble if mom found out I had been bit by a snake.   Especially a snake that I had just carelessly picked up. I remember thinking to myself, “moms from Cali and they have rattlers there, which makes her cautious around snakes”. I thought to myself “this isn’t a Cali snake it’s a Minnesota snake!” and with that thought I scooped up the little snake, once more and plopped it into my pocket.

“This isn’t a Cali snake, it’s a Minnesota snake!”

I gave up on the bushwhacking adventure in favor of finding the snake a home. I named the snake “chain” and we became friends. As the days went by, I played with chain a bunch and chain quit biting me. I took chain everywhere, even to school where I hid him in my desk during class or under my shirt. Looking back, the weirdness of those moments is pretty evident. It didn’t seem weird then, just me and chain, living our best life.
My inability to realize or recognize the humor in those moments is evidence, of the inherent confidence present in my weird choice. It never occurred to me that “people” may think that I was weird because I carried a snake everywhere. Other kids pointed it out, but I didn’t care because I liked chain.

Being Weird Is Profitable!

One day, during recess a kid offered me a dollar for chain. I said “he isn’t for sale, but if you want one like him, I could bring you another one for a dollar.” We spit in our hands and shook on it. When I got home from school I went straight to the thicket I had found Chain. After about 10 minutes I found another garter snake. The next day I brought it to the kid, and he gave me a dollar straight away! My wheels started turning and within a week I had taken orders for snakes, from all around my neighborhood!
My dad had this big plastic tub, and with the help of some friends and my siblings, we filled up the tub with snakes! The business didn’t last long, kids started to figure out how to catch their own snakes. I didn’t care, because I still had chain and I was still pretty flush with cash from all the snake peddling!
People that choose to embrace their “weird” are just people that know how to choose and act in a way of their own making. They aren’t actually embracing anything weird at all, in reality they’re just owning their own unique and beautiful self! Their inherent self-assuredness is evidence of the confidence that owning our own choices can bring any of us! I challenge us all to embrace our own weird self and to raise up our kids in a “weird friendly”, safe space! Its only going to help them navigate their own wild faith journey and it will be an inspiration for their own kids one day.
When God Made Me, He Made A Weird Kid!
                    -  Wild Faith Jake
 Proverbs 14:15 ESV
"The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps."

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1 comment

Haha this is great!! Peace, love and weird ✌️


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