Hello! School starts tomorrow, which is very exciting. This morning I sent our teachers an email and kicked it off with some reminders for my own heart and mind. Sean suggested I post it for our own collective thinking, so here goes. The following is an excerpt from that email:
I admit it: Right now I am in a business-sort of go mode. Even the tone of this email is business-y. That’s not bad, but it’s perhaps too easy. Being perpetually serious is easy; being joyful requires fighting. Our motto reminds us of this: laughter is war. And it’s a good thing, because we need constant reminding.
Without question, one of the most powerful instruments of my growth in recent years has been the relentless, ruthless understanding that Christ wants happy warriors. Constantly sad or despairing Christians misrepresent Christ. We have no ultimate cause to despair. The outcome of the war has already been determined, but our world is like the Shire that still needed to be scoured of filth even after the Ring had been destroyed. The enemy’s destruction had been secured, and that victory needed to be applied in Middle Earth. The same is true for us.
The enemy’s efforts to squash our joy and thwart the plan of God are – as Jim Martin said recently – like trying to douse a grease fire with water. It spreads the fire and multiplies the flames. We can be frustrated, but we ought not despair. Instead, we should laugh. Our enemy hates that and covers his ears like the monster Grendel when he heard the din of merriment issuing from Hrothgar’s mead hall, Heorot.
Another reason we should laugh is because it separates us from the world. The world is mostly sad, angry, or at least blasé. Christians’ joy should distinguish us from the world. When we cannot laugh, we look the same as much of the dying world around us. When we laugh, we give off a pungent aroma of life.
One more. We should laugh because we want to make the world jealous. This is not a sort of jealously that makes us look good, but rather that shows off Christ (not that He needs any help). They should want what we have, not because of us, but because of Him. We want to be able to have and maintain a supernatural happiness regardless of our circumstances – something the world cannot do. And that should be evident by our laughter.
So join me in smirking today. As you’re working and partying and resting and exercising and playing and preparing, keep laughter high in your throat, ready for a quick release. You’ll actually be happier. :)