Lighten Up! Seriously!
November 22, 2008
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I like to read the biographical information about an author that’s usually found on the back inside cover of a book. I’ve noticed that when it comes to most of the so-called spiritual gurus, their bios never list any, shall we say, down-to-earth stuff, such as family members or hobbies. Take Eckhart Tolle, for example. It’s hard to find out anything that’s “ordinary” about him. Check out his “About” page on his web site and you learn very little about him personally.
The oldest movies about Jesus have Him moving about, robe flowing, hands out in blessing, and in other ways acting so unearthly. We know He took children on His lap and blessed them. He must have played with them, kidded with them — kids don’t go to a “stick-in-the-mud” type person.
Oswald Chambers, in his classic devotional My Utmost for His Highest writes, “Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow aspects of life are not ordained of God; they are ordained by Him equally as much as the profound… We sometimes refuse to be shallow, not out of our deep devotion to God but because we wish to impress other people with the fact that we are not shallow.” (devotion for today, Nov. 22) He goes on to remind the reader that even the deep ocean has a shallow shoreline!
God must like the ordinary in life, for He has made so much of it! It’s OK to make small talk, it helps put people at ease, plus I like to talk about the latest sale at Best Buy, or how I keep my aquarium clean. It’s OK to lighten up, to be funny even though you’re a person of faith, to joke around even if you’re a follower of Jesus. It’s OK to delight in the simple pleasures of life — a fresh cup of coffee, the smile of a child, the inviting comfort of the pillow when you climb into bed. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
As Chambers goes on to write, “We are so nauseatingly serious.” That’s why I’ve decided to show a picture with me and one of my chickens that I tended, until I switched to homing pigeons, a picture of me acting “normal.” It seems to me that one mark of being holy is not taking ourselves so seriously!