"Thanksgiving and the sounds of laughter will come out of them..." (Jeramiah 30:19)
Recently I was driving down the road, getting upset that I was late to a meeting and feeling out of sorts, grumbling to myself. Waiting at yet another red light, I glance over and see a navy minivan full of young kids, a big dog, and a mama at the wheel, sipping coffee with a disheveled hair bun atop her head belting out and bopping along to whatever song was being played on the radio. She passes by on my right and I notice the bumper sticker on the back of her vehicle and got just the shot in the funny bone I needed;
It read: "Hot Mess Express."
This hilarious description of her vehicle and daily life realigned my bad mood in an instant and I had a good long chuckle and decided if she can have a sense of humor about things, well, I certainly could too. After all, I just had to get myself to a meeting (albeit a bit late) and then go to a relaxing outdoor lunch with a friend - cry me a river eh? She had who-knows-what to attend to that day and each and everyday after that for the foreseeable future.
After holding my schedule and daily routine up next to hers, there was no contest and no doubt in my mind as to who had more of a reason to groan, yet there she was - singing out loud and enjoying the crazy, haphazard ride. Go mama!
I absolutely love what I learn and reap from other women. They teach me more than any textbook or masters program ever could. It is the real life, rubber meeting the raucous road moments where we either languish or laugh, rejoice or recoil. I will try my best to choose laughter and joy whenever possible because life is too short not to have a long fuse and lots of fun along the way. She will never know how she taught me this worthy lesson, but it is one for the memory books.
Garrison Keillor once said: "God writes a lot of comedy... the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny."
I suppose I attended an impromptu theater class that day while sitting in traffic, taught by an adjunct professor with a PhD in rolling with the punches. Life really is a comedy so much of the time and if we don't laugh along then we are the ones who lose out on one of God's best offerings. I want to join in, live light and laugh with ease. Of course, there are many times when laughter is absurd or even cruel to suggest. But thankfully, there are many more where we can find deep belly-joy moments and choose to open wide our spirit's door and enter into their invitation.
Sometimes, like a jack-in-the-box popping open early, joy sneaks up from behind and surprises us, brightening and erasing the dark spots just in time. I thank God for sending humor just when I need it most, reminding me to lighten up and laugh - it is good for us and it is one of God's wonderful, amazing gifts.
Question: What have you seen or heard recently that lifted you out of a darkened spirit into one of laughter and light?