I’m convinced that most of us Christians take ourselves much too seriously. Maybe that’s because we imagine God, not as a loving presence who is always with us, but as a grumpy sort of deity who is too concerned about sin to take joy in the good world he has created.
Such notions of God prevent us from being truly free to live in expectation of God’s loving interaction with us. We’ve all known people who had no sense of humor, the ones who usually micromanaged and worried about every detail. We always had to censor ourselves when around such people, knowing that the most innocent jest could be taken the wrong way. To humorless people, life is but one long march of hard work and survival.
This week’s story from Dom Grassi is a great example of how sometimes the joke is on us. His own plan to deal with a complaint backfired on him. I remember a time when I was probably too worried about what size of clothing I wore. I was thrilled to find a pair of jeans that actually had a slimming effect. I remember wearing them the next day, taking the train to work (it was casual Friday), and feeling almost sexy—only to discover that I’d forgotten to remove the clear tape down the back of one leg that announced to the world just how big a size I was wearing.
Last week I suggested that you write the highlights of your life story—to help you identify how God has been present to you. This week I challenge you to go through a typical day, and then in the evening, write the story of that day—only write it as a comedy, with yourself as the main character.
Laughter is a release for us, bearing physical and emotional benefits. How often are we willing to laugh at ourselves? In doing so, we strip away that ultra-serious outlook that tends to make us anxious and negative. God desires for us an existence that is free and filled with gratitude—for our very lives, for the tough days as well as the more enjoyable ones. God wants us to laugh often and open our hearts to all sorts of possibilities.
For recipes and an excerpt from Fr. Dominic Grassi’s Bumping Into God in the Kitchen click on the tab at the top of the page.