A year in review shows that the Hump Day ad was quite successful, capturing the attention and restatement of its slogan in a manner that is an advertiser’s dream. Prior to that, one may have heard the expression, but lacked the visual representation to support its premise. My household was no exception. On Wednesdays, it was a race to see who would utter the words, “Guess what day it is,” and the “Julie’s” non expressive, “Hump Day” to the camels’ “Woo-Woo!” This one as opposed to many commercials, never got old for me. Each time I laughed with anticipation of what was to happen, as if I was seeing it for the first time. I never knew that eventually I would be brought back to this commercial (after Wednesday no doubt) and consider it in a different paradigm.
We see the visual representation of those in a “hump day” posture daily. As we begin a new year, and I like many of you seek the Lord for direction and clarity of what I am to do, where I am to go and what I am to say (or not), I was curiously led to consider the hump day commercial, the hump in the back seat of a vehicle and the role of an intercessor. Huh?! Yeah, that’s kind of what ran through my mind as well, but here goes.
Hump Day is representative of the middle of one’s week. Particularly, from the standpoint of one who works or is in school, or even looking forward to the weekend,, it signals that we are at a halfway mark, and if we make it through Wednesday, our weekend is nigh. Similarly perhaps (just go with me please), the backseat of a vehicle has a hump on the floor. It is not the most desirable seat. If you are made to sit in the middle or as was said in my childhood, “on the hump” there is not a great deal of comfort. While the person to your left and right is able to look out the window, perhaps having limitless movement, there you are in the middle, discomforted, only with the ability to look straight ahead with an unobstructed view (tab that). Further, your feet must be planted on both sides in order to remain in some sense of balanced state. Finally, enter the intercessor, a person who intervenes on the behalf of another. We see this person operational in many places. In the workplace, it may be a supervisor of a team, in a practical state, it may be a mentor, and in churches, it may be someone specifically on a ministry to serve in this capacity. Or, it may be someone that does not assume a formal title, but carries out the responsibilities associated with the behavior. Let’s examine the connection.
I have long benefited from intercessors. In 2013, I asked for prayer agreement for my children, one for adjusting to a new institution, the other for making sound decisions; for my husband as he transitioned into a new position, for our marriage, for my mouth, for my job, for the ministry I am a part of at my church, for my volunteer commitments, for the books I’ve written, and those yet to come, for my family, for illness, and the list goes on. So much so, that I likely cannot recall each of the prayer requests I’ve made, or the number of times being the recipient of an intercessor stating, “I’m praying for you.” Being an intercessor is likened to being in a perpetual state of “hump day.”
Data on social media shows the success of the Hump Day commercial because it is grounded in a day related trigger (see Contagious by Jonah Berger). Interestingly enough, we may see the same play out on Sunday in our churches. The lines for the intercessors to pray for any number of issues is long and deep. I’ve stood in those lines, and received the prayer, and return to my seat, often lighter and less stressed about whatever I brought before the altar and God’s mouthpiece. Sometimes, I have such a sense of liberation, that I (like the commercial), may not focus on what I requested prayer for until the next Sunday (day related trigger). However, I would suggest that is not the case for the camel, the person sitting on the hump, nor the intercessor.
The camel, the person sitting on the hump and the intercessor must see beyond the moment. The camel is excited for what is to come, the person riding in the middle has the view of what is to come, and the intercessor is excited about God answering prayer. The intercessor doesn’t operate in a day related trigger mode. She is on the job pleading the Blood of Jesus after Wednesday, and sitting in an uncomfortable state on our behalf for the long haul. She endures our eye rolling inspired by “Julie” when we see her, eager to ask, “What day is it?” She is really asking if it is well, if we are committed to the belief that things will get better. We on the other hand sometimes hide, because as far as we can tell, the thing she prayed about is not resolved. We would rather avoid her and dismiss her because she is a physical reminder that our issue still exists. In other words, here she is speaking weekend on Wednesday, when we are just trying our best to make it to 5pm. She is not concerned with what is going on either side, but instead she chooses to focus on the view at the front in the spiritual, that those around her may not notice. She has both feet firmly planted, one connected to your hurt, pain, disappointment, fear and the other rooted in the Word of God and what God whispers to her about his plans for your life. While those on either side are “sleeping” and going along their daily tasks (picture leaving the altar after the prayer), she is “stuck” in said position awake, focused on the final destination, less concentrated on the journey. There is little elbow room given, because God has her tightly fitted so that she may gather her space in and through him.
The intercessor is up for the ride. As the camel, the intercessor can carry heavy loads – good thing because I bring a great deal (and so do you). A camel can survive for a long time in desert conditions because it stores food, just as an intercessor can remain on the throne of God on our behalf when we’ve elected to direct our attention elsewhere. Camels’ humps are not filled with water, but instead fat, which may be converted to energy, which is critical for an intercessor!
Those of us who are not camels, hump seat riders or intercessors get tired, but we are smart enough to know that you get tired too. Today, we pause to say to you, “Guess What Day It Is” in support that the same God who delivers us, encourages us, affirms us, loves us and blesses us will do the same for you! Thank you for your intercession! We collectively say, “Woo-Woo!”