Too Short and Too Long Not to Laugh

post date: October 12, 2008

I received an email from a friend going through a hard time. The details don’t matter except that this friend feels like giving up. My friend feels a bit guilty for feeling that way because not everything is going bad. Some things are actually pretty good. But there is a sense of frustration and emptiness and perhaps a bit of wishing that things could be like they used to be.

What then? Many answers, I suppose. Here’s one.

Life is short.

We already know that. I heard it said this way.
Life is too short not to laugh.
Life is too long not to laugh.
I think we have to laugh either way. We all understand that outward circumstances can’t make us happy. That has to come from within—or better yet, from above.

We can’t always change circumstances we don’t like. But life is short—and it’s also long—and because it’s short and long, we have to laugh. “A cheerful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22). So we need to laugh sometimes. Life is funny and often absurd. And while we are laughing it is not wrong to wish things were different. We all wish that from time to time, and we shouldn’t feel guilty about feeling that way.

But if we don’t laugh, someday we will die having squandered the blessings the Lord gave us while we were on this earth. Laughter is one of God’s best gifts—and it is one way of not letting life get you down.

Given all the problems, pressures, worries and fears that we all share right now, it’s easy to spend our days in a perpetual frown. But even now—perhaps especially now—we need to laugh.

So let’s pray that the Lord will lift the burden and give us joy. My prediction is that the Lord will do it—and that we will find reasons to smile and to chuckle and to see the humor in the world God made.

Go ahead and give yourself permission to laugh. It’s good for the soul.

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Ray Pritchard
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