We are so similar, aren't we? Yes, we have plenty of differences: color, height, gender, income, etc. But when it comes down to it, we are all trying to live our best lives, and all have desires, dreams, doubts, and thoughts. I've been meeting with some pastors/rectors, wanting to connect more with people and God, and looking for a few more answers for myself. One thing has been obvious in all my talks with them, and with friends: we are not alone in our thoughts on faith, God and the mystery of it all. There are plenty of times when I'm alone that I tend to think what I'm going through is just my own drama (of course!), but then I talk with someone and it reminds me that we all go through ups and downs, and all could use a comforting hug, a good laugh, talk or cry.
Several books have been recommended to me, not to find answers, but to refine faith. All have been good in their own ways.
From the last one, I read about Jesus' life pre-Easter and post-Easter. Pretty deep stuff and wordy, but some things hit home. And one really hit home, especially for my stuffiness. I feel like I used to be a lot more light-hearted, and as I grew older, even as a teen, I became stiffer and wanted to do the "right thing." That even included not laughing when others seemed to be having a good time. What a crock that is, huh? I acted as if laughing didn't fit into my idea of what was "right." Talk about over-seriousness. That's why my friend Tally and I say, "Lighten up, Francis," when I get too stuffy (from the movie Stripes, if you didn't know). I have a new goal: laugh a lot more! :)
That was caused by lots of stuff, I think - home life, a Lutheran upbringing or whatever, but today I read about conventional wisdom vs. alternative wisdom. Pre-Easter Jesus grew up, as we all do, in conventional wisdom of our society. But Jesus had an alternative wisdom about life, that had more to do with Godly compassion, than rules and tradition. I feel like I've been living in too much of the conventional wisdom of life, even to the point of living with less joy than I could be because of some stringent internal rules I'm trying to live by, instead of living in the alternative wisdom of love and freedom of Jesus' teaching and God's love.
Okay, with all that said...gotta let go of the old ways and let God guide me in the other. Watch out world, I'm going to let laughter and joy into my life!
Example: on way to Minneapolis this weekend, my sister said, "I wonder what it's like to think like a cow." I said, "I'd love to find out, since my brain never stops!" Yes, we got a good laugh out of my over-working brain thinking like a cow! :)
Plenty of blessings to report too: my uncle is getting better, we had a chance to see our cousins and talk/laugh/hug, was accepted to speak about the box project in an independent school conference in Ohio, and heard from a teacher in Luck, WI who is now doing boxes with her students (see photos below).
Blessings to you all! XOXO Laughs too!