Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Mid-Week Message - The Importance of Laughter

"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person's strength."  Proverbs 17:22  (NLT)

My favorite magazine has always been Reader's Digest.  They used to be much thicker than they are these days and they took awhile to read through.  As I was growing up, we almost always had one in the house and since the stories were family friendly, my parents never minded when I carried one off to my room.  

When I was in high school and spending a lot of time on the phone with my friends, sometimes we would each grab a Reader's Digest and take turns reading the blurbs at the end of some of the pages that were called "Laughter, the Best Medicine."  I know it sounds silly now that we spent our telephone time that way but we had so much fun.  Even today, although I rarely read magazines any longer, if I see an issue of this particular one, I cannot restrain myself from picking it up to look for something that will bring a smile to my face or a giggle to my soul.  

Many of you may have suspected that in today's message I would address the sadness and violence that has gripped our country.  However, as you know, each time you turn on the television or pick up a newspaper, that topic is being covered aplenty.  Personally, it has become necessary for me to keep my attentions elsewhere in order to protect my emotions.  Now more than ever, I believe we need more light-hearted things to concentrate on.  We need to smile more, be more joyful and find ways to have some fun and laugh.  

I have had a dear friend for many, many years with whom I have many memories that give me reasons to rejoice, and occasionally, to laugh until I cry.  There is one story in particular that still draws us together and allows us to return to a moment that is ours uniquely.  It was during the evening and we were out in her car just driving around.  It was already dark out and we had stopped at a red light.  We looked up and there was an object in the sky with rotating lights that seemingly we were the only ones that saw.  We watched as it moved off and discussed what it could possibly be, then decided to follow it if we could.  So, here we were, two young women following what we could only suppose was a UFO.  What else could it be?  Finally, in West Austin, in the hills and away from the highly trafficked areas, we were able to get closer.  I saw that the lights seemed to spell out something. As she drove, I read the following, "Leif Johnson Ford....Still the Leader."  For a good portion of the evening we had been following an airborne advertisement!  

I get so much enjoyment from recalling that story.  She and I are the only ones that will ever know the laughter from that night but I hope you got a bit of a grin from reading it.  Surely you have memories that transport you back to fun moments as well.  

How magnificent that when the Creator was forming us, He gave us the gift of laughter.  In His infinite wisdom He knew that our lives would bring plenty of opportunities to fret, to fear and to grieve.  He wants us to be joyful.  He wants us to know His peace.  In order for that to take place, we need some balance.  In this world that is experiencing an increase in those who suffer from depression and anxiety, we need things to smile about, to laugh over.  I'm talking good, old fashioned belly laughs.  Laughter that brings a pain to your side and tears to your eyes.  Laughter that creates memories that will outlast our times of sadness.  Laughter that will energize us and help us to move on when we need to.  

Find a quiet place today and recall some times when total glee filled your heart.  Allow yourself to relive those moments, to feel how wonderful that joy felt.  Then, find someone and share some of your stories because they just might need a reason to laugh too.  God bless.

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