If you read my writing everyday or even just often, you may think that I am a little negative. You may get the idea that I am always looking for the faults in my life. If you aren’t around me in person, you may perceive me as a kind of dull person to be around that is all holy holy and constantly preaching to everyone I meet.

That couldn’t be farther from the truth. I don’t live my life like a depressed preacher wannabe frustrated by everything that comes along.

My son used to race motocross. Before every race or practice session, we would look that bike over. We would check everything we could think of to check. We would top off the gas because running out of gas during a race is a very embarrassing way to lose. We would get the air pressure right in the tires because differing track conditions required different air pressure or even different tires. We’d check the lug nuts that held the tires on. Having a tire fall off a bike is very bad especially when you are twenty feet up in the air. Tires make the landing much more fun. Believe me. I have seen what happens when there aren’t enough tires on the landing.

Sure, we picked that bike apart for a while before the race. But then, Joe would push that bike to its limits and ride it like he stole it. He could trust that it was going to hold together and get him around that track. No matter how he rode that day, the bike was always capable of winning.

So, I get up every morning and check out the nuts and bolts and tighten things up. I make sure I am running right and I’m capable of winning. You may even wonder if I have had a serious moment in the whole day because I think that making people laugh and smile is an important thing to do.

I’m not even all that serious when I fish even though I am serious about fishing. This spring, while landing a huge fish, I was telling a new friend a very funny story. The fish got really cantankerous and uncooperative for a minute or two and I stopped talking. I got the big ornery fish back under control and finished my story and my new fishing buddy got to laughing about how that fish wasn’t going to stop me from telling my story no matter how hard it tried! I had the pleasure of not only catching an awesome fish but I was blessed with the feeling of making Glenn laugh really hard.

There is something about bringing a smile to someone’s face that makes me happy. Making someone laugh their silliest laugh makes me happy times two. I don’t even mind if I sort of fail and make them groan at my feeble attempts at humor.

I once used humor as a mask for my anger. My jokes were sarcastic and hurtful. Sometimes that still tries to come out in me. I can feel it when it does, though. I can always poke fun at myself instead. There’s a true advantage to having a history of so many stupid feats. They make good material.

Proverbs 17:22 A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.

Yeah, when I reflect on who I am, I can see my faults and imperfections. I can tighten up the nuts and bolts and check the tires. But that isn’t where I live. I am supposed to use the machine I maintain. If I don’t, I become depressed and self-centered. I don’t trust that God and I have gone over everything and I am ready to go. I can’t live like that anymore. I am going to enjoy each laugh. I am going to be infected by the joy of others when I feel down.

Proverbs 10:28 The hopes of the godly result in happiness, but the expectations of the wicked come to nothing.

I used to hate reading Proverbs. Most of them have two ends. One is a good thing, the other is a bad thing. I lived a lot of my life at the wrong end. I had expectations but I was wicked. My life truly felt like nothing. I hated life. I got up in the morning and did the same stupid stuff I did the day before hoping things would be better but they got worse.

Now I can get up in the morning and do a little fine tuning and have hopes that result in happiness. I once chased for happiness and ignored God’s plan and was depressed. Now I seek God first and get hope and happiness.

One thing is certain. God wants me to spread joy to a very sad and fearful world, even if I don’t really touch all that many people in a day. I have to remember that when I feel like brooding or shutting down.  When those times come, I need another tune-up.

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