I have so many ideas and threads just sort of flying around in my head: lack of imagination, grown child, childish adult, lonely riches, exhausting mundane, and eventful joy. And ultimately I think that they all tie into this concept of taking life too seriously.
"It was never meant to be taken seriously." - Playwright
"The critics, they made it important." - Producer
- Finding Neverland
I think that a lot of people including me underestimate the power of laughter and the joy that it spreads. There are a few good friends, that are known for their unique laughter, given away plentifully and abundantly . My mom is one of those women. When she starts laughing people naturally join right in, simply from the deepness that it's rooted. Her laughter has been known to dissipate my frustration with someone over something absurd, my desire to gossip about something stupid someone did, or to give a little more patience in the times when my little brother is going bonkers. Laughter reminds us that life doesn't need to be taken so seriously, and for me that equates to being able to live like a child, "we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy." - Psalm 126: 1-2.
There is so much stress in this world. Having enough money for all that we want and need, getting the right grades to meet a certain standard, making sure that we put out the right image. It seems to me that a lot of the things that cause us stress is a result of trying to fill the emptiness with a plug that doesn't fit. We try to convince ourselves that having money will create security and contentment. We try to convince ourselves that if we are good enough than we will succeed and we will finally believe we are important and worth something. We try to convince ourselves that if we put on the right image no one will reject us and walk away and we will finally feel the love and acceptance we need. And when we don't get those things right, life cannot be lived joyfully. Those are situations that for me scream out stress. And stress is the mass killer of laughter. People spend so much time stressing and trying to be grown up that they forget about laughter and they forget that life wasn't meant to be taken so incredibly serious.
The critics of living they made this life so incredibly important, so stressful, so grave. They turned a joyful play into the depth of having to find false purpose and identity, misplaced love and unknown grace. This world was never meant to be the place where we truly rooted ourselves and truly found our full contentment. We don't need to search for it so hard in our surroundings, we don't need to stress about it and take this life so seriously, God has already given it all to us and it lies in our relationship with Him. We don't need to carry that weight of defining our own importance. Whew, thank goodness, because I don't know about anyone else, but I would have not only screwed that up, but probably would've been squashed under the weight of it all!
After Sarah gave birth to Isaac when she was like a billion years old she says, "God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me...who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children?" - Genesis 21:6-7. She could have easily fallen to her knees and screamed out "I'm not worthy", and that would have been an appropriate response as well, but instead she appreciated what God gave her through laughter. Prayers are full of holier than thou's and woe is me and they completely miss the part where we laugh with God, where we experience relationship with Him in joy and being carefree. To take everything and turn it into a somber, serious, "I'm very important" atmosphere, is to take away the part of life where God reminds us to breathe, love the moment we're in, and the people we're with. To just live.