You know it's going to be a bad day when ...
  • Your knees buckle but your belt won't.
  • You sink your teeth into a juicy steak – and they stay there.
  • You plop down in a rocking chair and can't make it go.
  • You routinely dim your lights for economics rather than romance.

Does your image of a holy person include a smiling face and laughter? Or is a saint someone with a stern face? Did you ever notice how often the Psalms exhort us to "rejoice in the Lord"? And this is from the Bible:

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person's strength (Proverbs 17:22).

God must have a sense of humor. Did you ever see a giraffe, anteater, or duck-billed platypus? And what about the zebra? Now there's a good case for God's willingness to do something just for the fun of it.

One of the most refreshing things in human experience is a belly laugh. Nothing relieves stress so quickly and completely as laughter. If you have children or grandchildren, I guarantee that fifteen minutes in the floor with them tonight will do more to invigorate you from the day's tensions than whining or having a stiff drink. If you don't have children, just act silly with someone you care about for a quarter hour. It'll do you so much good that you'll make it a habit.

So lighten up.
I once heard a fellow lament that most of the Christians he knew had faces as long as mules and looked like they had just bitten into green persimmons. Oh, I hope not! What a poor recommendation of faith to unbelievers. What a terrible misrepresentation of the God who, we say, gives meaning to our lives. Without joy, what is the meaning?

There's a serious side to humor, all right. What you laugh at tells a lot about your character and self-image. But laughter itself shouldn't be suspect as a waste of time or a distraction. God shines through when people laugh.

So lighten up. Devote some energy this week to learning to laugh at your life's comedic twists and turns. After all, you're not getting out of it alive anyway!