So ... when looking at this photo, what comes to mind? I can tell you what I think of ... The Sandlot! Remember when "Squints" fakes drowning just to get Wendy Peffercorn to kiss him. After succeeding, Squints looks up at his friends, who are desperately waiting for Wendy to "revive" him, and gives them a similar grin! You can't help but roll with laughter!
In our family, our youngest daughter, is the clown. As a little girl she would do the silliest things to lighten a mood or to entertain us. Her expressions, her language, and her delivery, to this day, makes me laugh. As a matter of fact, this picture is a sample of how one of her simple expressions can fill my eyes with tears, and cause my sides to hurt, as I fall to the ground in laughter!
Laughter ... such an important emotion. Google it on WebMD! Laughter has been proven to boost your immune system, increase your circulation, and relieve stress. Not to mention burn calories! We all know that the average kid laughs up to 400 times a day ... and ... well ... this statistic drops dramatically as we age. As a matter of fact, the average 35 year old adult laughs (or just smiles) 15 times a day, and that's on a good day.
The Bible also talks about the importance of a "merry heart", that it "does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones" (Proverbs 17:22). Proverbs 15:15 tells us that those with a "merry heart" have a continual feast." Then, there's Psalm, chapter 16, verses 7 through 11:
I have set the Lord always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope. You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore!
"In your presence is fullness of joy" ... this statement makes me smile. I can't read it without smiling and ... pausing ... to let this powerful statement be absorbed.
So, this week, I invite you to join me in absorbing and practicing two things. One, laughter ... Let's up our laughter meter from 15 times A DAY to at least 20. Two, let's be aware that God is around us, in us, and moving through us; this should at least bring a smile to our faces and put joy in our hearts!