Last night we received a wonderful compliment. As our family arrived for church, we split into our normal two-by-two mentality so we could safely lead the children through the busy parking lot. At some point, Robert decided it needed to be a game and yelled, "The team that reaches the church door first wins, or if a teammate from any team reaches the door first, then that whole team is the winner." Robert took off like a rocket. Rob feigned shock. Anna squealed. I watched for cars.
The race was on.
Robert, who had started from several feet behind, shot in front of Rob and Anna, who are much taller and made up ground quickly. I yelled, "Go, Robert! Go!" Rob was yelling, "Hey, not fair!" Anna was yelling, "I'm going to catch you!" And Robert was squealing with glee. I was laughing as I watched the mayhem safely arrive on the sidewalk. The greeter wisely stepped aside as Robert barely touched the door first.
The huffing and puffing and laughing continued as the three racers walked in the door in front of me. It was then that the greeter looked at me and said, "Wow. It looks like y'all are really having fun."
I smiled broadly, "Oh, yeah. This is great stuff."
Rob took the kids to their classes, and I headed across the foyer toward the sanctuary. The greeter's words stuck with me. "Wow. It looks like y'all are really having fun."
He seemed pleasantly surprised. He had said it in a way that made it clear that such fun was not the norm. As I pondered this, I had to confess, such joy is not our usual way of entering church. Typically, we have had the "are you ready yet?" exasperation at home. Then there is the ride to church, which is always "iffy". By the time we get to church, we are usually just glad to have gotten there on time and with everyone wearing matching shoes.
Then I thought of others that I see enter the church. They usually look like we usually look. We walk in looking a bit tired, a bit haggard, a bit weary. They aren't grumpy, but they aren't joyful. They are just where they are "supposed to be".
Isn't that sad? Isn't fun what comes out of a heart filled with joy? Isn't laughter the overflow of a heart filled with wonder? And should anything leave us more at wonder than the ones we love? Is there anything that should fill our heart with glee more than love poured out on us or that we enthusiastically pour out on others?
And should that be less so at the house of God, the One the Bible defines as love?
Now, I'm not saying we should fake laughter and fun so we can put on a good show. However, when Christians who laugh with and enjoy those they love are the anomally, it should make us take inventory of our hearts and attitudes. It should also make us realize how much we can influence those around us simply by having fun. People are used to the haggard, tired, and weary, but wholeness, good-hearted laughing and fun make them turn their heads...even at church.
Sometimes being an anomally has its perks.
Hoping you have fun loving God and those He puts in your life.....