by Charles R. Swindoll
The Monday Night Football broadcasting team turns the Swindoll family room into a stadium on Monday nights. That's one part of my week when all pressures shift into neutral. Even though I may shout and scream and jump and jeer, it's a relaxing and rewarding experience I thoroughly enjoy. What's more, it's the same for the broadcasters and those players and the refs and those nutty fans surrounding the gridiron. They're all having a ball!
In fact, I remember when Don Meredith was doing commentary and was interviewed, he stated that one of the reasons he retired from the Cowboys was he stopped "having fun." He caught himself getting so all-fired serious about the game that he was no longer able to hang loose, laugh off a mistake, and look forward to that next set of downs. When the fun stopped, so did the desire, the delight, and the determination. So what did he do? He got into another phase of his specialty that allowed him to bring back the fun that had departed. He exchanged the uniform for the microphone . . . and started smiling again. Good for him! May his tribe increase!
Now, some frowning, neurotic soul is reading this and saying, "Well, somebody's got to do the job. Life is more than fun 'n' games, Swindoll. Grow up and get down to business! Laughter is all right for kids, but adults, especially Christian adults, have a job to do that's serious."
Nobody's going to argue that life has its demands and that being mature involves discipline and responsibility. But who says we have to get an ulcer and drive ourselves (and others!) to distraction in the process of fulfilling our God-given role? No one is less efficient or more incompetent than the person on the brink of a breakdown. He really isn't much of an asset to society—or to the cause of Christ. And that's not a criticism; it's reality.
Old Solomon knew that. Remember his words of wisdom? "A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones" (Prov. 17:22). There is no more effective safety valve in all of life than balancing the serious, somber side with frequent flashes of fun, fun, fun!
If you're not enjoying most of your day, if you've stopped having fun, you're missing more than you are contributing.
Oops, gotta go. The stadium is almost full and it's kick-off time.
When was the last time you laughed till you cried? Did you know that a good belly laugh is a proven stress reliever?
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.