There’s nothing like deep-from-the-gut laughter that catches you off-guard and nearly knocks you to the ground! Laughter that is pure changes the atmosphere, inside and out. It makes you feel fully alive.
When Matt and I were newly married, something he’d said or done made me frustrated. As I stood at the kitchen sink washing dishes, he tried his best to get me to laugh and make up. But I wanted to be taken seriously. I didn’t want to just blow off what I was sure was an important topic. After he wouldn’t leave me alone, I turned and with a stern look said, “You really eat my goat!”
That would be one of dozens of times in the next 30 years I’d mess up a well-known cliche’ and have to decide whether to laugh or be embarrassed. Thankfully, I burst into laughter and my frustration dissolved. As I grew older, I learned to recognize these unexpected jokes as gifts from the Holy Spirit. Doorways to a second chance and clearer vision. If we embrace humor, it often relieves the pressure of a hard conversation or moment, allowing us to move forward.
Although it may take prayer, extra effort, and (at times) a large dose of humility, you can make more room for humor and joy in your life. You can make laughter a priority instead of constantly letting responsibilities, stress, and worry weigh you down. Choosing to live in hope, awe, and curiosity gives opportunity for joy, no matter the circumstances.Choosing to live in hope, awe, and curiosity gives opportunity for #joy. #laughter #emptynest Click To Tweet
While we all recognize that laughter feels good, it’s important to realize the benefits go far beyond that moment. Research supports the truth behind Solomon’s words in Proverbs 17:22, “A joyful heart is good medicine.” (The footnote adds that it “literally causes good health.”) The physical, mental, and social benefits are noteworthy.
Today’s challenge is to ponder how your life would be different if you believed that laughter really is the best medicine. I mean the very best. Better than the best doctors and medications and hospitals. Better than sleep or sunshine or vitamins.
- How hard would you work to fit laughter into your schedule?
- What activities would you do so it would surely show up?
- What would you stop doing that currently steals your joy?
- Would you purposefully alter your attitude about anything?
Take some time to ponder the questions above, allowing the Holy Spirit to shine light on them. Draw a picture, literally or in your mind, of a life filled with joy. How does it change how you think about tomorrow? How will it change how you finish today?