laughter is good medicine
Have you heard about the burglar who got startled by a voice saying "Jesus is watching you". He shone his flashlight around the room and asked "Who is talking?" ."Moses", came the answer. The burglar found where the voice was coming from and saw to his amazement : A parrot!
" My gosh, who in the world would name their parrot Moses?" "The same ones that named their Rottweiler Jesus."
I heard this one while listening to one of Dr.Leaf's talks about brain health. But I'll keep it simple today. As Pastor Micah said this morning, in the past few weeks, babies have been born and people passed on. It's all part of life. Saturday I attended a "celebration of life" of a friend who passed away. Not an easy one to attend for me, as she lost the battle with cancer. So has my mom. 43 years ago. Many tears for many people that day. So why in the world would I write about laughter? She had requested to read a passage from the Bible in the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 3, that will tie it all together.
"A time to be born, and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance...."
You might know it as a song by the Byrds called "Turn, turn, turn".
All these extreme opposites, jumbled together like that. The writer is just describing life as it is. A time to weep and a time to laugh. Both are actually very healthy emotions. We need to allow ourselves to weep. Jesus himself wept, and comforted Mary and Martha after their brother died. So I gather, it's OK to cry, it's OK to mourn. It's needed and healthy.
What I didn't know is that laughing actually increases brain intelligence. What? Besides studying and learning and experimenting , laughing increases brain intelligence too?
It's a complicated chemical process, that I won't attempt to describe here; but isn't that wonderful truth?
Albert Einstein exemplified both: intellectual genius and humorous character. He was often asked to explain the general theory of relativity. "Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it feels like an hour," he once declared. "Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That's relativity. "
Or his wife often suggested that he dress more professionally when he headed off to work. "Why should I?" he would invariably argue. Everyone knows me there. "When it came time for Einstein to attend his first major conference, she begged him to dress up a bit. "Why should I?" said Einstein. "No one knows me there."
We just recently visited the city of Princeton where he lived and taught at Princeton University. I fell in love with that town, and to think that I only lived an hour away from it until our move to Florida! I Should have been more adventurous, more curious.
As Einstein said:
" I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious."
And his curiosity , backed up with persistence gave him his successes.
In his words:
"It's not that I am so smart , I just stayed with the problem longer."
So Einstein and myself have two things in common. We both immigrated from Germany and we both walked the streets of Princeton. :)
May I have the same curiosity in life and the same humor.
On a practical note, I encourage you to find something to laugh about with your family. How about everyone brings a new joke to the dinner table? Hey, if my husband can find new dad joke, so can you! Or how about watching a good comedian? May I recommend Tim Hawkins? Clean for the whole family. Or play a game together. We still like hide and seek, and my youngest is 12! A good round of UNO will do too. Send something funny in a text. Like when my future son in love texted about the menu for their wedding , I texted back
"Only Schnitzel and Sauerkraut will do." I know it made him smile.
Have fun, be curious and laugh together.
Let me close with Proverbs 17:22
"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."
You are loved. deeply loved. Loved beyond measure.
Until next time,