BY V.E INNISS
I have confessed time and time again that the inspirational origins of some articles are rather strange indeed. This one is one of them. Although I have listened to and enjoyed a good burst of laughter from time to time given by comedians off and on television screens, at parties and elsewhere this one caught my attention, since it compares nicely with my old time favourite “The Benny Hill Show.”
What is laughing? In simple language it is an expression of joy, mirth or ridicule. Laughter is an expression of emotion. For example the child who jumps up and down in joyous laughter at the announcement that he is going to a party illustrates an emotional accompaniment of emotion. The laughter here is not an end in itself, for laughter as a goal has not been substituted for the desire to go to the party.
Most occasions arousing laughter are social. Investigations found that in many situations in which children and adults laughed, the laughing episodes occurred in the presence of other persons.
On the other hand most occasions for laughter have in them an element of surprise. Tickling is one of the most and universal sources of laughter. A child or adult does not laugh when he tries to tickle himself; he laughs only when someone else tickles him.
Adults as well as children seek such sequences of events under circumstances when laughter whether triggered by something comical or hilarious becomes a goal. In these circumstances that produced laughter in plays, movies, and stories, on radio and television become truly enjoyable.
BENEFITS OF LAUGHTER
Laughter as a health benefit is one of the best, if not the best medicine. It is a powerful antidote to stress pain and conflict. Furthermore, it is a strong medicine for mind and body. Researchers have found that humour lightens burdens, inspires hopes, connects us to others; keep us grounded, focused and alert.
Laughter triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Laughter establishes – or restores – a positive emotional climate and a sense of connection between two people. All the health benefits of laughter may simply result from the social support that laughter stimulates.
Don’t underestimate the power and value of humour and laughter. It strengthens the immune system, boosts energy, diminishes pain and protects from the damaging effects of stress.
The world in general and our nation in particular are under stress feeling, socio – economic pain and wondering how much longer will God take to answer the many prayers and wipe away the falling tears. We need RELIEF BIG TIME.
In the meantime a LIGHT MOMENT or TWO would be most welcome. These quotes might help –
1. A healthy laugh lengthens your life (Swedish Proverb)
2. Against the assault of laughter nothing even stands. (Mark Twain)
3. At the height of laughter the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities. (Jean Houston)
4. All the world needs is love and laughter... (August Wilson)
5. A day without laughter is a day wasted. (Charlie Chaplin)
NO LAUGHING MATTER
Laughter is used in the Bible in three ways. (1). It is opposed to weeping as Ecclesiastes 3:4 and Job 8:21 say (2). It expresses incredulity as Genesis 17:17 and 18:12 point out. (3). It signifies derision as Ps 2:14 underscores.
As established earlier, laughter is an expression of joy, mirth or ridicule. Bible students tell us that there are various kinds or shades of laughter including natural laughter, derisive laughter, fake laughter, scornful laughter; divine laughter and joyful laughter.
The causes of laughter don’t necessarily relate to the aforementioned kinds mentioned.
For example to man’s folly, “He that sittith in the heavens shall laugh, the Lord shall have them in derision” (Ps 2:4)
Secondly in ridicule, “So the posts passed from city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, even unto Zebulum, but they laughed them to scorn and mocked them” (2 Chronicles 30:10)
Let us examine what Solomon had to say about laughter. “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” (Ecc 3:4)
We live in a world of changes. The several events of time and conditions of human life are vastly different from one another and we are continually passing and repassing between them. In the “wheel” of nature sometimes one spoke is uppermost and by the contrary, there is a constant ebbing and flowing, waxing and waning from one extreme to the other.
When we are in prosperity, we should be easy, and yet not secure not to be secured because we live in a world of changes, and yet to be easy; in a humble dependence upon God neither lifted up with hopes, nor cast down with fears, but with evenness of mind.
Solomon’s thesis is this: Every activity of mankind has a proper time and a predetermined duration. Our lives will be a lot less stressful if we recognize that the omniscient hand of God has appointed a time when things are to be done and He has a predetermined duration for those things to last.
Our times and seasons are in God’s hand. And what we entrust to Him (God) will make “proper” in its time.
Remember this: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” (Prov 17:22)
Keep hope alive! Who laughs last best laughs best.