When I was a kid, we used to sit down at the table and wait for Dad to pray for the food. But semi-regularly, he wouldn’t pray. He’d hold up his pointer finger and that was a sign to all of us to put our fingers up too. The last one with their finger up had to pray.
It always seemed like a kind of weird ritual to me, but I put my finger up with everyone else in the race to not be last. But we were a Christian family, Dad was a pastor, and we were taught to pray without ceasing. Why then did we race to see who “had” to pray?
I don’t know that it was so much about who “had” to pray. None of us really minded praying for dinner. It was more about being silly and having a little fun. We’re all pretty competitive in my family. We all wanted to win, even if the prize was not having to pray for dinner that night.
Sometimes I think as Christians that we get too serious about everything. Yes, Christianity is serious business. There’s nothing funny about Christ’s death and suffering. God is a holy God and to be revered. But does that mean that we can’t ever let loose and laugh? I don’t think so.
I think that God truly appreciates it when His people have a sense of humor and enjoy life. I think He appreciates it when we throw our heads back and laugh loudly over something crazy or ridiculous. Humor can be used in so many ways – to ease the tension between people, to break down barriers, to make another person laugh. Making other people laugh is one of my favorite things to do.
A few days ago I was complaining to a friend of mine who just had two babies in two years about my ticking biological clock. (Not that I’m out prowling for a baby daddy or anything like that… I’d rather be childless and at peace than dealing with a chaotic home life.) My friend’s idea of how to cheer me up included some very graphic descriptions about the toll babies take on a woman’s body. I won’t regale you with those details here… Trust me, you don’t want to know. She had me doubled over with laughter, tears running down my face, and I believe I even snorted! And after that information, I decided that I’m doing just fine the way I am. Maybe I’ll even adopt! Yikes! That description should keep me content for a while with the status quo.