December 3, 2007    

KEEP IT FUN!
by Charles R. Swindoll

Ecclesiastes 3:4

Even though I don’t like it, I’m tempted to stand back, shrug, and agree with Virginia Brasier, who wrote “Time of the Mad Atom”:

This is the age of the half-read page.
And the quick hash and the mad dash.
The bright night with the nerves tight.
The plane hop and the brief stop.
The lamp tan in a short span.
The Big Shot in a good spot.
And the brain strain and the heart pain.
And the cat naps till the spring snaps—
And the fun’s done!

When my wife turned fifty, our younger daughter, Colleen, and I decided it called for a celebration. While running together one morning, Cols and I came up with a surprise birthday party-boat ride down at the Newport Harbor. We communicated this to the family and several of Cynthia’s friends. Everyone who came was told to bring “fifty of anything wrapped in black.” Cols and Charissa coordinated final plans to meet out-of-town guests at the airport in complete secrecy. The way we synchronized our activities, you’d have thought we were planning the Normandy Invasion.

Finally, B-Day arrived. My excuse to get Cynthia to the dock was a boat show that was in progress. Fifteen minutes prior to our arrival, all the gang had slipped on board. Cynthia and I leisurely walked along the dock where I casually asked an individual, who was really in on the plot, if she happened to know where the Lyn Dee Belle was docked. “Sure do,” she said. “Be happy to show her to you.”

As Cynthia stepped on deck, fifty family members and friends jumped up and screamed, “SURPRISE!” For the next three hours we motored around the harbor, took pictures, laughed, ate, sang, opened the craziest bunch of gifts you ever saw, celebrated, and had nothing but fun. None of us will ever forget that party!

In this day of demands and deadlines, fun’s often the first thing to go. Don’t let that happen. Because when the fun’s gone, the brain strains and the heart pains.

Solomon was right: Happiness and laughter do us good “like a medicine.”

Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.