Carpe Aeternum

Finding the Eternal in the Every Day

What’s so Funny?

We laughed so hard we couldn’t breathe. It was your typical giggle-fest where you get to the point where everything is hilarious and just increases the laughter. You cry. You try your best not to pee your pants. When it was finally over my ribs, my face, my throat and even the muscles in the back of my neck are sore from the ordeal.
This was a church meeting, mind you. A men’s gathering that was intended to be more serious, something to help us become more introspective and ultimately become better men, and understand how to live our faith more fully.
Instead, non stop, howling laughing.
This wasn’t one of those “holy” laughter things you hear about in some Pentecostal churches. This was good old fashioned funny stories from our lives.
We had an agenda for the meeting. We wanted to get to know each other better. Ultimately, the group is designed to help us grow spiritually and emotionally. Trust is crucial to that we spent time getting to know each other, setting the foundation for what is to come. We were asked to share something about ourselves that the others didn’t know.
I can’t share what we discussed. But when the first person to speak told us that he once was the quality control inspector at a breast pump factory, a few chuckles rolled out. Chuckles turned to guffaws and the night had a whole new agenda. Most of it sophomoric and gross. Enough so to pass for a meeting of sixth grade boys as we rattled off crazy story after crazy story that involved odd, embarrassing or even disgusting bathroom incidents.
By then, the laughter was far into the realm of unbridled. There was no way that it was coming back to something serious.
Later, as we were finally wrapping up, one of our number asked, “why can’t we have fun like this in church all the time?”
Which is a great question. Obviously, there are times when such humor is inappropriate. There are times when things need to be more serious; part our interaction with life as a church encompasses those bad, sad and even horrible times. Some things aren’t appropriate for certain audiences. But the truth of the matter is, we all have funny and embarrassing stories. They are part of life too. Why can’t they be part of Christian experience?
There are places where this kind of being real is good. Even important. There is a point when being goofy is necessary. I’ll even go so far as to say it’s holy.
The scriptures I read say that God found his creation good. Even the gross parts. Even the base parts. It’s the way he made it. Embrace it.

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2 thoughts on “What’s so Funny?

  1. I need to laugh again…

  2. Eternally Hopeful on said:

    I’m of the opinion that the best way to start off a church service is to hand out sour gum balls. These are the type when you start to chew, the sourness makes your jaw clench, your gums suck in tight, and your eyes fill with tears and in the process of it all, you loose all composure. In loosing the composure and seriousness of life, you can actually have joy. The sourness actually becomes quite comical and laughter easily flows. You laugh so hard that you have to sit down, or indeed you may wet your pants if the occurrence has not already happened as snot easily flows from the nose. A bond comes with the realization that we are all snot faced. This memory actually occurred with my ex-husband, when we were dating back in my early 20s………… we bought a bunch of sour gum balls and the goal – How many can you chew? How fast? It was a simple challenge absent purpose but with profound impact turning into a time that I never laughed harder. These times when you can loose all composure and just enjoy life somehow feel like the very times that God is the closest. In the past 4+ years, I have actually only laughed once w/ church people – and that was prompted by break dancing- much needed. For the most part, church tends to be a place where I have experienced the most tears, the most sadness, and well I wonder, “Is that really the joy of the Lord?” So, yes, I say handing out a bunch of sour gum balls, releasing the pressures of life and returning to grade school humor is very much needed. Perhaps, God is more present when we remove our self enough to really experience others and RELAX. It is interesting that the bible tells us to rejoice in the Lord always, yet often the church appears to cry to the Lord always. I wonder why after all these years as being a Christian, joy is often hard to find and requires an ongoing search and focus. Shouldn’t it naturally be present? I long to rejoice, laugh, and celebrate with Jesus. I have a feeling that he desires to do the same with me. Why is it so hard? : )

    “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)

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