laughing.jpgTo get through the world alive we have to care until our hearts break, and cram our lives full of enjoyment….Only enjoyment and gratitude for our lives create a spontaneous impulse to care for others…..We will gain the desire and wisdom to create a more compassionate society only when we learn to take our time and find compassionate enjoyment in elemental pleasures.”  –Sam Keene

Some of us need permission to have fun. For some reason, we’ve been taught as responsible adults with a myriad of roles to play, we must stay stoic and grind away at our tasks day-in, day-out without cracking a smile. That doesn’t sound like abundant life to me. A local church in my area is called Cathedral of Joy, and it’s icon is a laughing Jesus. At first, I was taken aback. Why? I don’t know. Maybe I picture such a serious Jesus, that I couldn’t comprehend Him laughing with His friends. Yet I know He went to parties and weddings, and I just know He wasn’t a killjoy at them–except to the stoic rule-worshippers who simply couldn’t have any fun without making up another rule to debate about. I digress. Basically, one of the many nuggets in the quote above hits home to me when I realize that I most overflow love and joy onto the people in the world around me, when I am most filled with love and joy. And that must be an intentional pursuit in our lives: to love well by going to the Source of Love daily, and to overflow joy by staying with the Joy-giver throughout the day. He created all things for our enjoyment, the Bible says, so maybe it’s time to watch a clean comedy, to lighten up at work with playful banter, to delve in a bit into our hobbies, into exploring His creation, into deeper communion with His people–simply to crack a smile, emote a belly-laugh, or to express our appreciation back to our Creator of His gracious gifts. And impact our world…