Lighten Up – Laughter is the Best Medicine.

by Christine Sine

A couple of weeks ago I was chatting to Ricci Kilmer, about how much we miss her daughter Catie at our Mustard Seed staff and retreat times. I remember her telling us once that we needed more fun in our meetings. Not surprisingly, she was often the one who came up with ideas of fun things for us to do together.

At one of our MSA retreats she made us all into chocolate tasters. We were each given a small piece of chocolate to savour. We each closed our eyes, and sat with the chocolate on the palm of our hand,breathing in the richness of its aroma. Then we got to taste it, noticing its texture, the way it tasted on our tongues and stirred our senses. With much laughter and hilarity we shared our thoughts. Then we opened our eyes and with relish licked the now molten chocolate from fingers.

savouring chocolate

The wonder of chocolate

I couldn’t help but think of this as I read the invitation to participate in this month’s synchroblog

One thing feels clear about the faith blogging world–we can be kind of serious most of the time.  Serious about beliefs, theology, and hard conversations about the intersection of life and faith.  It is serious stuff we’re talking about, but sometimes what gets missed in all of the intensity is joy & laughter & lightness.  It’s probably a good idea to learn how to not take ourselves quite so seriously.  The May 2012 Synchroblog is centered on the idea of what it might mean to lighten up a little–personally, spiritually, professionally, or in any area of our lives.   You can write about why that’s easy or hard for you, share something funny or humorous, or any other angle that feels easy and right (remember, part of this is about lightening up!)

Its true, I often think that most of us take our faith too seriously. How often after all do we imagine Jesus laughing or God enjoying a good joke. Yet I think that God is full of laughter and humour. It bubbles up in the wonder of creation – who else could create a dog like the Komondor.

Or animals that act like these

Or give us the imagination to do things like this first wedding dance video

Imagination, creativity, the very act of laughter itself show that God is a fun loving God. And it does even seem to improve our health as this articlesuggest. Maybe it shouldn’t surprise us therefore to discover that lot of God’s creativity can make us smile and feel happy.  Even compost gives you a high. The earthy smell of good rich composted soil, or even of compost straight from your pile produces bacteria that increase the serotonin in your brain and make you feel happy. As Pagan Kennedy says in her article How To Get High on Soil, 

Scientists call it “geosmin,” this dirt smell that lends the earthy taste to beets and carrots. It’s the flavor of life. Read the entire article

No wonder God’s first action after creation was to plant a garden and no wonder he calls us to steward creation. He knows that we are happiest when we have our hands (or our noses) in the dirt. Now that seems like something to really laugh about.

Learning to lighten up for me would mean taking time to enjoy the humour of life more. It would mean taking more time for fun and laughter. Working on this post today has definitely made me realize that this is something I need to do.

Here is the complete list of posts

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1 comment

Coe Hutchison May 8, 2012 - 10:21 am

Great blog, Christine. There was a wonderful painting of a laughing Jesus as Luther Seminary that I just loved. They sold postcards of it for awhile. It was wonderful. Thanks for sharing

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