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More Musings on Laughter February 23, 2007

Posted by Joe in Random Musings.
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Lar,

Good stuff as always hermano. That quote you put up yesterday was phenomenal. As I was reading it I couldn’t help but pray, “Lord, make me that kind of man!” I’m praying that He would answer.

As for your musings on laughter, I enjoyed them as I normally do. As I have said before, the discussion aspect of this blog is an awesome encouragement to me. I pray it serves others as well, but if nothing else, it stirs my soul! In response, I would first have to say that my post yesterday probably didn’t make clear enough the fact that I am by no means concerned about you! I think you know this, so maybe you blogged for the betterment of others. Either way, I think I would have to tell you straight up brother that I want to see and hear you laughing more! And I am dead serious about that. That’s right, I’m dead serious about seeing more laughter!

Of course, I suppose you already know this, considering you are well aware of my joy in making you laugh with stupid jokes of all sorts, but I thought it would be beneficial to make that clear up front. Not so much to clear the air or something (as if I would have to), but to honestly exhort you to more laughter. It’s a healthy thing no doubt and should probably be very evident in every Christian fellowship. After all, we should be the happiest people in the world. And if we are the happiest people in the world, we will probably be laughing a lot!

The thing I would like to convey and emphasize again, however, is that we should also be the most burdened people in the world. As I have heard Piper say, godly joy is a very serious joy. I believe that. And like I said, my concern with the link is not that you linked to it. Link away brother. Link away! My concern is not even your (or my or any other individual’s really) response to it. At least not ultimately. My concern is primarily what I think such a video reveals or points to about our current state in evangelicalism (or at least on one side of evangelicalism).

The problem as I see it is not that we need less laughter. No. In fact, I would say that we could always use a lot more. Instead, we just need more mourning. I hope that makes sense. What I am trying to say is that we don’t have to decrease one to get the other. In fact, I would dare say that the bearing of godly burdens for the lost, the church, the poor, the aborted, etc. actually brings more laughter into one’s life. The bearing of burdens serves to bring more joy.

This is paradoxical, but that is exactly why it fits into the Christian life, and why it fits into life at all. It’s weird isn’t it? I mean, we can know about world hunger and abortion and even weep over it for a time. But not all the time. Some time. Even at times a long time. Yes. We should. We need more of it I believe. But if we spend our entire lives there, our mourning won’t be worth much. I think it can be more or less faithfully said that our laughter is only as good as our mourning and our mourning only as good as our laughter.

This should make sense, because if we don’t know what it means to mourn, how can we trust our laughter? I don’t think we can. Isn’t that why those who are dead in their trangressions and sins laugh at so much that definitely is not funny? I think so. They don’t know God and therefore, cannot see clearly enough to mourn over what they ought and laugh at what they ought. We are only safe in laughter when we know what it means to mourn.

I believe Christian experience testifies to this, but I would like your thoughts. Take some time to think about that if you will and give me your musings. As usual, I am thinking ‘on the fly’ (0r not thinking depending upon your perspective!).

Alright brother. Thanks so much for the discussion. It really serves to increase my joy!

Mourning and Laughing with you,

Joe

p.s. I’m headed out of town on a road trip today, so I might not be available on saturday (or later today for that matter). Just a heads up. Usually the weekends are slow blogging days anyhow, so if this conversation isn’t finished, let’s pick it up Monday! Also, our road trip is 7 hours and I’m preaching on Sunday, so your (and anyone else’s) prayers for grace are much appreciated! Alright, peace.

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