The preacher was an avid golfer. In fact, he was obsessed. He played the game relentlessly.
One Sunday the preacher awoke to a picture perfect day for golf:
- Bright sun.
- Cloudless blue sky.
- Heavenly temperature!
The man was in a quandary. Duty called, but his heart was walking the fairway. Overcome by the urge to play, he called his associate to explain that he was “sick.” Nursing a guilty conscience, he tossed his clubs in trunk and drove three hours to a course where no one would recognize him. Happily, he began his round.
An angel watched from above – quite perturbed.
“Lord, look at the preacher. He should be punished for what he is doing."
God nodded in agreement. The preacher teed up at the first hole. He swung. The driver met the ball and it sailed effortlessly through the air. It hit the green and effortlessly found its way into the cup. A picture-perfect hole-in-one!
The preacher pumped his fist in exhilaration. The angel, however, was a little shocked,
"Lord, I thought you were going to punish him!"
God smiled. "Think about it -- whom can he tell?
Does God laugh? Does He have a sense of humor? I think so. When I read the verses below I am convinced that he wants me to enjoy a little levity as well.
- For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven . . . a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. Ecclesiastes 3:1,4 ESV
- A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17;22
We see the importance of humor in the strangest of places. On January 27, 1916, shortly before daylight, Winston Churchill, then a Lieutenant Colonel in the British Army, addressed his officers on the Western Front. He said,
Laugh a little & teach your men to laugh--great good humor under fire--war is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin, keep out of the way till you can.
Churchill understood the drain of duty and the power of a light heart. He knew that his soldiers, battling for very life itself, needed the balm that laughter provides.
Laughter is a gift from heaven, an instant vacation, and some very good medicine. It soothes the soul caught up in the serious game of life. So enjoy God's gift. Take the vacation. Swallow the medicine.
How? Lighten up. Read the comics. Watch a comedy. Enjoy the presence of a funny friend. Spend some time with children. Look at the funnier side of everyday experiences.
If anyone has a reason to laugh it is the Christian.
- Our God loves us.
- Our God has the future in the palm of his hand.
- Our God is totally in control.
I'm not advocating throwing caution to the wind, but we can certainly lighten up and laugh!
"Laugh a little . . . " from Martin Gilbert, Winston Churchill: A Life. New York: Henry Holt and Company. 1991. Page 345.