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Meditations by John Dean

Monday, September 12, 2011

Laughter



(Psalm 126:2 KJV) Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue
with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great
things for them.

Many folks today believe that once they become a Christian the fun things of life are over for them. They somehow associate laughing and enjoying themselves with the flesh and that they are only unholy expressions of an unredeemed world. There is no doubt that in some cases the motivation for this type of thinking is based on a desire to live a holy life. However, solemnness has never produced holiness.

The fact is, the Lord desires for His children to enjoy themselves the same way that a parent wants their children to enjoy themselves. As a matter of fact, laughing is not only good for one’s health, but laughter is a gift from God.

The interesting thing is that many people today do not even know how to laugh. I remember that I was almost grown before I laughed for the first time. I would smile and sometimes even giggle a little, but I had to learn how to laugh. When I began learning how to laugh I felt awkward.

I soon learned that there was an association between laughing and living a healthier life. I not only began enjoying life a lot more, but I starting seeing a change in my confidence as well. Wow! That is good stuff.

I also began noticing how people would do all sorts of things to entertain themselves. I must admit that I probably judged most of those things as being completely ridiculous and certainly childlike to say the least. However, over the years I have learned that even though some of those things may have appeared a little childlike, it was certainly a lot better than being a cheerless young man as I was at the time.

Speaking of fun, while recently in Guffey, Colorado, one of the first questions I was asked when arriving there was had I ever seen a “chicken-fly” contest? I responded by asking, “What in the world is a ‘chicken-fly’ contest?” With that response, all of the locals turned and looked at me as if I had just arrived from Mars. With stunned faces someone responded to me by saying, “You are kidding, the whole world knows about Guffey’s ‘chicken-fly’ contest.”

At that point I felt as if I had not only been living a sheltered life, but that I had apparently missed all the good things that life had to offer. After everyone got over the shock of my ignorance of not knowing what a “chicken-fly” contest was, they  explained it in great detail.

The idea was that once a year folks would come from miles around bringing their favorite chicken with them. They would then take their chicken and climb up a ladder—that looked to be about seven or eight feet high—to a small platform that looked to be about four feet square. The platform had a railing around it for safety and it also had a post in front of the platform with a mail box attached to it that was facing out. The back end of the mail box had been taken off but the lid on the front had been left on.

The idea was that the contestant would put their chicken in the open end of the mail box and a man running this whole show would open the lid on the other end of the mail box at the right time. A kid with a plunger would then start poking the chicken out the other end of the box. The chicken that flew the longest distance before it hit the ground would win the contest. The coveted prize for winning the contest was a trophy with a chicken on top.

The first thing I thought of was that the person who thought up this “chicken-fly” contest thing apparently had way to much free time on their hands.

The point of the “chicken-fly” contest story is that it brings people together for fun and fellowship...people that may never have gotten together otherwise.

Father,

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