Tuesday, November 11, 2008

As Light as a Feather

From there to here,
from here to there,
funny things are everywhere.

If you never did
You should.
These things are fun.
These things are good.

—Dr. Seuss (One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish)

“What do you do for fun?” is a question I like to ask pastors. The answer, quite often, is, “Nothing.” “Nothing!” I exclaim, “What for, when there’s so much fun to be had in this world? Fun is good and good is fun; a merry heart is like medicine!

We Christians can be a dour, joyless lot, preoccupied with maintaining our sobriety and dignity. That’s an odd attitude since we’re joined to a God who has given us the gift of laughter.

Some households, I know, are more reserved and restrained, but our home has always been a house of laughter. We like nonsense. Water-fights, good–natured (albeit stiff) competition, gentle ribbing, high jinks and hilarity came easily to us. Laughter has been a gift of God’s goodness that has carried us through some of life’s darkest days. The joy of the Lord has been our refuge.[1]

I read the other day of David’s efforts to bring the ark to Jerusalem from the house of Obed-Edom and that he “danced” before the Lord along the way.[2] The Hebrew word, translated “dance” in most versions, has the idea of joyful exuberance and is akin to our expression “kick up your heels.” Michal, David’s wife, felt his antics were unbecoming the dignity of a king and reacted with stern severity. David’s response was to announce that he would become even more “undignified,” a word that actually means, “to be light,” as in “as light as a feather.”

So we must lighten up, I say. There is, as Solomon declared, “a time to laugh.”[3]


[1] Nehemiah 8:10. The word often translated “strength,” actually means “a place of safety.”
[2] 2 Samuel 6:21,22
[3] Ecclesiastes 3:4

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