Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Fourth Day of Christmas

When I first started teaching I did not attend any after school events. Whenever someone would talk about the parties or a 'get-together' they would mention how drunk someone became or how someone did such-n-such... it just didn't seem like the place I wanted to be.

Then one year, something happened. One year I decided to help plan our staff Christmas Party and the result was drastically different.

Where once there was an event where only a few participated- with drinking and rowdiness- there was suddenly an event where there was laughing, games, and fun without people needing to get drunk... and anyone who did get something to drink seemed almost out of place. Suddenly our staff parties were fun for everyone.

As long as I worked at my last school, I was always asked to be part of the party planning.

I owe this to the gift of laughter. Why? Because laughter is the outpouring of joyfulness. There is an old chorus that talks about all the things God could have put into our soul, but He chose laughter.

Just think about it for a minute. The ability to laugh. The ability to find joy in the most ordinary and mundane things. So many people in our world do not have joy. I think that is why our staff parties where such a success when I helped plan them. Not because I am something special, but because suddenly there was genuine laughter- not some drunken induced state of unawareness.

I look back through my own life and there are so many times when I was able to laugh and I shouldn't have been able to do so. So many times God has allowed me to 'release' through laughter and then everything suddenly seems a little better.

As I was growing up our home was filled with laughter. If we didn't laugh at ourselves then someone else would! Laughing at yourself was a very important lesson indeed... one both my parents took the liberty in helping to teach. Every family needs to have laughter; inside jokes; funny stories; funny glances with hidden meanings; all of these make life so much 'funner'!

Thank you, Jesus, for the gift of laughter!


jay5in said...

I felt a stirring when I read the first day of Christmas, tears started to well up when I remembered with you on the second, I rolled me eyes on the third (of course I agree wholeheartedly... but anyway), and I smile and chuckle at all the laughs I have been blessed to share with you.

This is already better that sweeps week!

Karla said...

Again... I am in complete agreement with you! Our home, also, was always filled with laughter. I pray that my boys have these same kind of memories when they are older.

Linda Elms said...

Joseph, I'm beginning to wonder if you are related to us! As you know our whole family loves to laugh! LOL! I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't laugh. Thanks for another great "life lesson".

Lynn said...

Just remember this '4th day' next time I'm getting on your 'nerve' :)

Joseph James said...

Thanks for all your comments... and sweeps week may be a wash if I don't find my camera.

Lynn- laughter has nothing to do with the ability to be funny... and... well... sometimes you aren't :o)