Boredom to Bellylaughs: A Lesson in Laughter

Years ago, a friend of mine wrote an article on the importance of laughter. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” The Proverbs are wise sayings written by men such as King Solomon of Israel, inspired by God Himself. God has made us in such a way that joy and humor are meant to be vital parts of our lives. My friend entitled his article, “Something Funny Happened on My Way to Heaven.” He included funny stories and personal anecdotes. Mostly, he laughed at himself!

In a day when sadness fills the news, I am reminded of a funny incident that took place in my early ministry. An incident, I might add, that helped direct me to my right calling.

My wife and I were serving in a small church in Alabama. She led the children, and I served the youth. One Sunday morning Lori woke up with a sore throat and fever, so that meant my teaching her class during Sunday worship. I was so excited and couldn’t wait to share my knowledge of the Scriptures with our approximate 30 children. I strayed from Lori’s lesson plans, wanting to bring my personal touch to the class. It was my lack of understanding that initially hurt my pride, and that later produced one of the funniest stories of my early ministry days.

It was story time, and each of the children sat on their own colorful carpet square to listen as I read to them. I was in my glory, that is, until Pamela interrupted me. Just minutes into my story, she, who was now lying on her carpet square, yelled to the top of her lungs, while holding her face: “Oh, my God. I’m bored. I’m so very bored! Please stop. You’re killing me!” Do you remember the Christmas classic, “Home Alone?” While sitting in front of the bathroom mirror putting on his dad’s shaving lotion, Kevin lets out a blood-curdling scream. That was Pamela over 40 years ago – minus the shaving lotion!

Naturally, I became frazzled. Faces of the other children registered shock, until a boy in the back chimed in, “I’m bored, too!” Then I lost complete control of the children, who began to talk out loud, completely ignoring my bewildered look. I then began to laugh –   first quietly, then with belly laughter. Pandemonium filled the room.

God used Pamela over four decades ago to emphatically show me that my life’s calling was not to teach children!  Thank you God for the lesson learned through laughter.

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