The following is my article from my column today in The Clinton Chronicle:
The news has
been so serious lately. We all need a
good laugh or two.
Dickens wrote, “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as
laughter and good humor.”
grandfather, an old-school Baptist preacher, told the story of two old men at
the assisted-living facility. Fred and
Elmer sat in chairs in the hallway for most of the afternoon. They watched and occasionally talked as
people walked back and forth. One
elderly lady slowly walked past them on her walker, wearing only a hospital
gown, which was untied in the back. As she
rambled past them, they stared.
Momentarily, Fred asked, “What was that?
casually replied, “I don’t know, but it sure did need ironing.”
political season with such strong opinions and convictions bellowing, maybe we
need to remember this word from Robert Frost: “If we couldn't laugh we would
all go insane.”
Clovis grew up together in the country.
Gary grew up to become a farmer, and Clovis got some education and began
teaching at a local college. One day
these old friends were walking down a country road together. They passed a field of cowboys and
horses. Clovis stated, “Look, Gary,
those men are bow-legged!”
Gary decided to help his friend.
“Clovis, you shouldn’t talk like that.
You need to learn to talk in a more sophisticated manner. I tell you what. For the next month, I am going to help you
improve your vocabulary.”
submitted, and for the next month he endured Gary’s assignments. The two friends read several of Shakespeare’s
plays together. Dr. Henry Higgins would have been proud.
later, after much study of the finer words in the English language, the two
friends walked down the same country road together. When they approached the field of cowboys
that began all of this schooling, Clovis thought, “I’m going to impress Gary
with all of this learning.
suddenly exclaimed, “Behold, Marn! What
manner of men are these, that walk with their legs in parentheses?”
One of my favorite
preachers of the 20th century was Adrian Rogers, who was known for
his one-liners. Here are just a few:
“Do you know
where Greece came from? It oozed out of
who borrow from my sermons: If what I preach fits your gun, then shoot it. But use your own powder.”
terrible thing for a man to think he has the gift of preaching when nobody has
the gift of listening!”
say it is a sin for a woman to wear makeup.
I say it’s a sin for some women to not wear makeup!”
says that three things happen when we lose our sense of humor: a broken spirit, a lack of inner healing, and
dried-up bones (Prov. 15:13,15; 17:22).
Swindoll says, “When we lose our ability to laugh – I mean really laugh –
life’s oppressive assaults confine us to the dark dungeon of defeat.”
In order to
retain our laughter we have to not take ourselves, the world, and other people
too seriously. I remember hearing a
seminary professor tell me, “Rhett, I take God very seriously, and I take His
Word very seriously. But I have learned
to not take myself or other people too seriously.”
God is on
His throne. The One who cares for the
birds and the flowers is able to see to the details of our lives. He can still be trusted. And that frees us to keep laughing even when
life doesn’t go our way.