I have a bit of a theory about stress. It’s completely unscientific but seems to work for me. The theory is this: the reason that stress is so harmful for us is because it stops us experiencing the healing power of laughing. I do know that there are scientific studies which show that laughter is good for us, linking it to stress is my unscientific extension.
I haven’t written a bless for a few weeks, because, well, not to put too fine a point on it, I’ve been stressed. Completely maxed out. For once this hasn’t really been a work issue, it’s been an outside-work. Those responsibilities just kept flowing in. One of the major ones has been a talk that I am doing at a men’s breakfast this Saturday, so I’m not completely out of it. The talk is prepared now, so at least the major pressure is off, until Saturday that is. When I am stressed I tend not to laugh. I get grumpy when I am stressed rather than giddy.
There have been a few moments over the last few weeks that have made me laugh though. I haven’t been completely grumpy.
This weekend I had a couple of days when everything I did took longer than expected. I don’t know whether you have days like that, or whether it’s a blessing that is reserved for me. I’m not saying that they took longer because I’m poor at estimating, but they took longer because the simple job turned into something much more complicated than normal. One of these things made me laugh though. I was setting-up the computer at church for the morning service and things weren’t going too well. I was already a bit stressed because PowerPoint had decided to destroy my presentation for the Men’s Breakfast and nothing was going right. Stress levels were building. I was starting to worry that I wouldn’t actually be ready for the start of church, which isn’t a good thing. Eventually, 2 minutes before we are due to start I get finished. Quick, I need the loo, just got enough time to go. Dash off; rush into the loos. Sit on the toilet, do the usual check to my right. Ahhhh, no loo roll. I only have 2 mins, I’m already stressed I can react in two ways, I can laugh or I can cry. The laughter just flows. I feel much better for a bit of a laugh, go off to find the spare loo roll and all is well.
Laughter is so important.
Sue and I have a group of friends with whom we love nothing better than to get together for a laugh. there is something about this group that generates situations where we all laugh. I only need to think of Dave with tears streaming down his face for my mouth to curl into a smile. Two of this number have been away on holiday, today we received a post-card, again I was laughing. I thought about typing some of it in here but I’m not sure that the joke would translate. It’s funny because of the person who sent it and their view on the world.
I don’t have a highly developed view of what heaven will be like, but I’m sure it will include laughter. In the Psalms it talks about God laughing and I’m sure it’s not a privilege that He will keep to himself.