Last week, Cindy and I visited, for the first time, my son and his family in Boston. They moved there not more than three weeks ago, so to say we were anxious to see them is an understatement. I spent nearly all my time, playing with my two grandchildren, ages six and two and had the time of my life. Day one, Cindy and I took them to the beach at a beautiful park outside the city and spent nearly the entire five hours in the water, posing as everything from a whale to a steamboat. They both showed me with great pride how much progress they had made in learning to swim and were rewarded for their efforts with ice cream and popsicles when the ice cream truck came by ringing his bell. To say the least, a good time was had by all.
The whole experience got me thinking about how most people react after having accepted Christ as their Savior and granted access to paradise. Now I know it can be a very emotional experience, it was for me and I asked all the questions you may have asked, such as, “Why me?” or “Now what?” But I have to say that there was nothing child like in my response. Yet in Matthew 19:13-15, Jesus tells his disciples, after they had rebuked some folks for bringing children to Him for His blessing, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” I have read many interpretations and heard numerous expositions about these few verses, but what struck me when I read them on the way home from Boston was, where does it say that following Christ can’t be Fun? Fun is not necessarily frivolous or sinful and is certainly the experience most often sought by children of all ages. Have you ever noticed that it’s when we get older that the “fun” we often seek and chase after is no longer innocent, but instead sinful by most anyone’s definition.
We often speak of joy, peace and satisfaction but never the pure enjoyment of coming into the presence of God, through His Son, Jesus. I heard a preacher once say that “having fun is the work of Satan” and it can be. It all depends on what you are having fun at! Laughter and joy are as connected to one another as weeping and grief and since the apostle Paul clearly teaches us that what grows from the presence of the Holy Spirit, is Joy, then wholesome fun and laughter must also be part of God’s plan for the life of the believer (Galatians 5:22). Remember that it takes more effort to frown than to smile and the only tears you shed when you laugh till you cry, are tears of joy.
If you want to be a witness to others of what God has done for you, through His Son Jesus, then wipe the pious look off your face and replace it with a smile. What I mean is that a life with Christ doesn’t mean you have to put your sense of humor and your innate desire for pure fun and enjoyment away. Instead, let it out for all to see and hear, more than likely you will receive a more willing ear when you tell them why you are so happy with your new life in Christ. Tell them about the ice cream and popsicles, your reward for following and growing in Christ and doing His work. Continue to practice your strokes in the “river of life” that God has provided for you, and teach others that Jesus is the “living water” and that He can and will bring them joy and laughter, much like that of a child (Revelation 20:1, John 7:38).
Tool #291 Bring joy, laughter and fun into your home and leave the anger, anxiety and long faces outside in the world, where they belong.