A former Lutheran pastor sharing thoughts on faith and life. Please join the conversation! I love your comments!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Funny for your Health

“You have heard it said, ‘laughter is good for the soul.’  But I say unto you laughter is also good for the mind and the heart and the body, particularly the abdominal muscles.   Satire is most educational but even a good potty joke is like an ever-flowing stream.  Wait, that didn’t come out right...I mean sound right...I mean....  Oh never mind.” 
"A proverb" by me (a.k.a. Sheri Ellwood)

Recently I have had multiple opportunities to laugh.  It began with a trip to see a production of Spamalot.  Then there was a meal with family involving much laughter.  Then some friends came for a visit and much more laughter ensued.  If this trend continues, I might end up with abs of steel. 

Not to get too deep on this subject but amidst all the laughter I was amazed again at how disarming humor can be.  I am not very good at laughing at myself and yet amongst all the other laughter somehow it didn’t seem so difficult to acknowledge my own faux pas.  It was also reaffirmed to me how good humor is at delivering truth.  (As I write these words I realize I have written about this in the past.  Already repeating myself at such a young age.  Oh who cares, this topic is a good excuse for a Spamalot quote.) 
Spamalot is great at pointing out some of the silliness of religion and life and so on.  Consider this quote from Spamalot, (at least according to Wikiquotes. It’s not like I was sitting there with a notebook and pencil or something.)

Arthur: God be praised. We have a quest: to find the grail!
Sir Robin: The quail!
Arthur: No, the grail. The vessel used at the last supper.
Sir Robin: They had a boat at the last supper? Was it a sort of dinner cruise?
Sir Galahad: The grail is a cup.
Sir Robin: God the almighty and all-knowing has misplaced a cup?

Put this way the “holy quest” sounds a bit silly doesn’t it?  How many things in our own churches and faiths could not be phrased similarly?  As in, “The God of all mercy and compassion is primarily concerned with attendance?”

So, it is good spiritual exercise to laugh.  It is good mental exercise to allow humor to help one see things in a new light.  Laughter lowers stress and is therefore good for our minds and bodies.  It’s a good thing. (Holy mackerel now she’s quoting Martha Stewart.  The girl has clearly lost her mind!)  

Go forth, then, and watch Spamalot, or The Daily Show or whatever the conservative equivalents might be.  Practice laughing at yourself and your political ideas, your church and even at your own concept of God.  And occasionally, compassionately, poke fun at others.  (Or freely make fun of them behind their backs.  What they don't know can't hurt them, right?  Surely that is in Proverbs somewhere or something.)  

The world is full of funny.

What makes you laugh?  What are your favorite humorous shows or movies?  Favorite comedians?  Favorite funny stories?

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