Two hours into the day someone sent this my way and I needed it, badly.
Laughter is not just good medicine. Sometimes having the opportunity to laugh segues into a prayer of thanksgiving:
Thank you, God, for the interruption to a hectic day, and the cleansing effect of a laugh. Thank you God that I can hear and see this, in order to so fully enjoy it. Thank you that my lungs work, so I can bark out “HA! That’s funny!” and it heals me more effectively than a thousand sighs. Thank you for the Holy Spirit, who moves on the air I breath, and therefore on all of my tears and laughter and carries them where you will. Thank you for the good friend who sent this to me, and the fact that I have any friends at all. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for my life, I do not appreciate enough.
Thank you, God, that a few minutes spent in frivolity only led me back to you, who — being all good — can only be my joy.
Watch and laugh, and then rejoice.
UPDATE: It is interesting to think about laughter and joy and then read
Elizabeth Duffy’s latest column, wherein she wonders about the incessant pleasure-chase that seems to be leading us to anything but laughter and joy:
In a study from Massachusetts General Hospital, college students viewing pictures of beautiful people experienced brain activity similar to cocaine addicts receiving a dose of cocaine. [The case is made] that the brain regions in question, which communicate with each other via the chemical dopamine, are also stimulated by food, money, any source of beauty, and information itself. [...] Scientists fitted rats with an electrode that would stimulate the pleasure circuit with the touch of a lever. Once the animals discovered that touching the lever created a pleasing sensation, they would push the lever obsessively, as many as thousands of times each day.
They wouldn’t eat, or care for their young, and their offspring died of starvation.
Pleasure, administered so quickly and easily, became addictive.
I have often thought that without gratitude, all the pleasures of the world will not lead us to a fullness of joy. For joy, one needs gratitude. Pat Gohn confirms it in her piece:
In a nanosecond I saw my life pass before my eyes as an oncoming, out-of-control Camaro crossed into my lane. I did all I could to avoid the impact, while thinking, “Oh, God, this is how I’m gonna die.”
But then I didn’t. The pulverizing sound of the crash was less frightening that the thought of what we would look like afterward. The little economy car was totaled. Despite a severe whiplash and bruises, I managed to get out from behind the crooked dash, unbuckle the children in the back seat—crying and shaken but okay—and walk away.
That day, and for weeks after, I grew in gratitude for the preciousness of life amidst harrowing flashbacks and “what if’s?” [...] I reveled in the Lord’s provident bounty. Indeed, that year Thanksgiving became more than just a national holiday to celebrate with family and friends. It was a deeply personal one. And every birthday and anniversary after that became miraculous milestones, mini-Thanksgivings.
Lots of good stuff to read and think about, today. We have a laugh and move on, ready to face it all.
Max Lindenman turning The Sound of Music hilariously on its head.