Enjoying Life

I was visiting with a friend on the telephone last Sunday evening.  Charlotte and I have known this woman and her husband for many years.  She was telling me that she and her husband were having fun with their new (and their first) grandchild.

I mentioned to her that I when I was a child, I thought that getting older meant the end of fun.  When I was a child, I thought that adults just didn’t get to ‘go outside and play" anymore. 

Yet, I really believe now that as a person matures, fun is not to be left behind.  Laughter is as important as it ever was.  Maybe–it is important to distinguish between what fun isn’t and what fun is.

Fun isn’t…
1.  Fun isn’t abandoning your relationships, breaking your vows, and shaming your family.
2.  Fun isn’t lowering your standards in order to somehow fit in with people who you desire to impress.
3.  Fun isn’t finding laughter at the expense and embarassment of others.  It isn’t making fun of people, belittling people etc.
4.  Fun isn’t living on the edge of the moral boundary, trying to see how close you can get to gross immorality without getting burned.
5.  Fun isn’t standing for something most of your life only to compromise your standards when you reach mid-life.

Fun is…
1.  Fun is enjoying lighter moments.  There is so much sadness, stress, and heartache on this earth.  We need to be able to enjoy the lighter moments and to receive them as a gift.  That is why I spent a few moments laughing with the clerk at HEB yesterday.
2.  Fun is laughing at yourself.  It is refusing to take yourself so seriously that you are uptight and tense, never laughing when you do something silly.  I do silly things quite regularly.  I’m pretty sure that you do too.
3.  Fun is looking for opportunities to enjoy what God has given us instead of looking for ways to complain.  Griping and complaining is just a way of telling God, "It’s not good enough!"
4.  Fun is loosing your self-consciousness.  It is refusing to be overly serious about yourself.  So what, if people see that I am human.

I remember a time in my life when I was overly serious.  I was tense, irritable, and not a joy to be around.  I was very stressed and not handling it well at all.  I made excueses for my disposition (the problems that I was dealing with etc.)  Looking back, I really believe that much of my disposition was due to my failure–my refusal–to trust God.  It was up to me!  It was on me!  I had to come through!  There is not a lot of joy to be found in that kind of living.

I don’t know that my life (in terms of some of the stress) is much different than it was twenty years ago.  I do know that I come at it much differently than I used to.  I have learned to trust God not because I think I should.  I have learned to trust God because there is no other way that I know to deal with life.  That frees me up to enjoy what God has given. 

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