Healthy LAUGHTER! [ and Why it’s so Contagious]

What is it that when we hear someone really laughing, we are drawn to find out what’s so funny?  And even though you have seen something before, why do we end up laughing again?

Case in Point… You’ve got to love this baby!

If you did not at least smile, break into a wide grin, or chuckle a little, you need to go see somebody. I have seen this clip more than a couple times, and yet every time I watch it, I laugh!

Laughter gets us behind the scenes of our task-driven world, helping to return us back to real life. We were meant to live for so much more than just achieving and gaining. Our lives were not intended to make us into cultural robots!

Some of the most overly serious people I know are those in vocational ministry. Note the dog in the video. He is not participating in all of the fun. This dachshund is so focused on the goal, he has become part of what’s so funny!

I know leaders who are like that! They are so driven by the moment, that they have forgot what it means to be present, and live in that moment. They lose sight of what’s “normal” and what it means to be human. And this is more than just being a certain “personality” type.

As much as I love laughter (and I have the core value of fun), in the midst of doing the task I have gotten so focused that I have taken things way too serious, too personal, and I even gotten offended when people are just trying to lighten me up!

C’mon Terry! Take Jesus serious, but don’t take life so serious sometimes. Especially in light of all the goofy things you do sometimes, in route to trying to serve people and Christ.

Some of us even feel guilt for having fun. What is that about?

One of the greatest moments in our past training events, was when we would pause our intensive training and have pastors and ministry types share their “Most embarrassing Moments in Ministry.” We would laugh until we cried!  C’mon Man! It’s about life.

Here are three reasons why I think laughter is so contagious:

1. It reminds us, that deep inside of all of is a longing and hunger to be truly alive.  l believe we long for joy. Laughter gives us a snippet of joy. And we long to share in life, together with others, in community. That’s why sometimes we laugh just because we hear others laughing. Laughter can connect us to each other.

2. It reminds us that He is God, and we are not. And that needs to be re-emphasized at times.  In route to trying to serve God, we will do things (even in the most serious times) that are down-right funny! It’s what it means to be human. That’s not an excuse! It’s just simple reality.

3. And finally, it reminds us that as serious as life is, and as much of the heartache we must face on the 6-O’Clock News, laughter can provide a deep release for the soul. That’s why we can walk away from a time of laughter with friends and say, “That was good. I really needed that!”

As I envision some of the scenes in the New Testament, I see a big smile (and even here the laughter) as  Jesus tells the disciples to not prevent the children from coming to him. My take is that they fill the air with play and laughter, jumping into his lap. And He joins in.

I close with one of my family’s most favorite video clips. It relates to going to Church. It always brings me  back down to reality. Mr. Bean will do that to you, if you let him. And I don’t care what you say… this is FUNNY!

2 thoughts on “Healthy LAUGHTER! [ and Why it’s so Contagious]


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