Extravagant Gift

I’ve known several morticians over the years. Without exception, they’ve each had a rich sense of humor. The ability to laugh is probably necessary in some professions, and those who work with corpses likely head the list. Otherwise, how could they stand the grief and pain felt by every family that walks through the door?

I once heard of mortician who liked to sign all his correspondence: “Eventually yours.” That gets right to the point.

Humor is something I can get serious about. It is nothing less than an extravagant gift – to be frequently used and shared. Evangelist Billy Graham said that “a keen sense of humor helps us to overlook the unbecoming, understand the unconventional, tolerate the unpleasant, overcome the unexpected and outlast the unbearable.” That’s serious stuff.

A friend says: “In the summertime, I like to ride my 150cc scooter instead of driving the car. I enjoy the breeze in my face and sometimes find myself smiling for the pure joy of it as I zip along.

But my scooter has a major flaw. It was not made for uneven surfaces. Its single, mushy shock absorber is almost useless as the bike grinds and scrapes at every unexpected bump and hole in the road.”

A life without humor is no better at getting through life’s bumps and jolts than that scooter. It groans and complains at any unanticipated obstacle thrown in the path. And there is plenty of debris along the way. There will be obstacles in life’s road at every turn.

The problem is not that there are problems. There will always be rocks in the way. And where there are no rocks, watch out for a pothole. No one ever promised a smooth ride. As Katharine Hepburn said, “Life is hard. After all, it kills you.” Problems are not the problem. It’s that when we think the way should always be smooth, every stone we hit feels like a personal assault.

We need resources to absorb life’s shocks. And a good sense of humor is one tool we can’t live without. The ability to lighten up is invaluable when we encounter teeth-rattling jolts. It helps us “overlook the unbecoming, understand the unconventional, tolerate the unpleasant, overcome the unexpected, and outlast the unbearable.” And it’s just plain fun to carry along on the ride.

Maybe musician Corky Siegel got it right when he said, “Life is too important to take seriously.”

And so, we pray: Father, I’ve had that little 125 Honda motorcycle. I hit a lot of rocks, barely missed many potholes, and run out of gas. It was cheap but it brought its own set of problems… I found it to be dangerous for me… so, I sold it right away. I still hit rocks and potholes, but in a car, they are easier to maneuver. Thank you for giving me the gift to not take myself too seriously… to look for the humor as an extravagant gift. Amen.

Grace and Peace
Steve

PS: Back on January 9th, I mentioned my son has been promoted to IT Manager over all IT in his company. Well, I was half-right. He is over all IT in his company… but he is IT Director. Well done, son.

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