There are good reasons to not be so serious. Besides, if you take everything seriously, you don’t take any one thing seriously.
It’s certainly been rough nine months, hasn’t it? And as I write on a Friday night, we still don’t know who our next president will be.
I don’t know about you but I take things way too seriously sometimes. I mean, how can we not, right?
There is so much going on right now and some of it is indeed serious.
There is a lot going on now
Last week I felt a lot of anxiety on and off for a few days. It was the election, Covid, facing the holidays knowing we probably won’t see family during this time.
Then there is the book I’m writing. Can I just say that had I known how much work it would be, the frustration, the learning curve, I think, no, I know, I would’ve quit. Thank goodness God kept all that from me. Ignorance is sometimes a blessing.
It wasn’t the writing anyway, I found, and continue to find writing easy. It wasn’t finding something to write about either. I have so many thoughts fighting for dominance in my mind, I’ll never run out!
It was all the extra apps and tools I was working with to make my writing easier and while, at the same time, rethinking and revamping this blog. All the upgrades to this blog need to be in 1place and working before the book comes out.
I was so stressed I didn’t even accurately read some of the correspondence I received about the book. I had taken the fun out of it and because I did I totally misread what were really encouraging remarks. All I saw was the unending amount or work ahead of me. Believe it or not, writing a book is really hard if you are trying to be grammatically correct and produce quality work. Not all books that are written are written well, not even close. I didn’t want my book to be one of them.
If you’re like me, you probably have a heart for those who are hurting and when you hear of someone in need, you have a hard time being happy knowing someone else is going through a rough time. You probably feel guilty for feeling good.
I think it’s a delicate dance and one we need to dance the right way.
I believe God intends for us to be serious when we need to be and certainly serious in our prayer life, although at times, God and I have laughed at my silliness.
So, what are the reasons we should lighten up? There are three reasons we should watch being too serious about some issues.
The first reason we needn’t be so serious: we lose our joy.
The first reason we shouldn’t be too serious is that we lose our joy when we do. Jesus knew how to do it. He knew how to be joyful and have fun even though He knew the importance of His mission.
He liked to fish. He liked to eat. He liked to meet with friends. Of course, we are not Jesus so we can’t balance life as He did but can we agree that if Jesus wasn’t always serious-minded, we don’t have to be either? Jesus was more aware of the condition of the world than we could ever be and yet He kept His joy and instructed us to do the same.
So we can rest easy if we lighten up at times. It doesn’t mean we don’t care or are ignoring the suffering of others.
The second reason we should lighten up; we lose our focus.
When God has called us to carry out a specific purpose we can lose our focus if we take it too seriously. Don’t misunderstand. Any time God has called us to fulfill a special purpose we shouldn’t be nonchalant about it. But there is a difference between taking something seriously and taking something too seriously.
The first one keeps us focused on the mission in front of us; the second takes away our focus because we have made it too complicated and got bogged down with unimportant details. What starts out as a delight becomes a burden.
I couldn’t even read what was right in front of me because I’d lost my focus. It had been exciting until it wasn’t. And the “wasn’t” was because I lost focus which is often what happens when we make something more serious than it is. We can tell when we are too serious because the joy of serving gets lost.
What did Jesus say? “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” When we feel bowed down from what God has called us to, it’s us who have made it that way, not God.
The third reason to lighten up: we lose the ability to distinguish between situations
However, when everything becomes serious. we sometimes lose the ability to discern what is and is not important. What do I mean?
As a result, we can get so caught up in things we lose the ability to tell what is truly serious and what isn’t. Accordingly, we can find ourselves behaving as though everything is serious. The outcome of making everything serious is we bring a great deal of stress on ourselves.
Moreover, it’s not healthy, however. Therefore, it keeps us in the fight or flight response which dumps excessive cortisol into our bodies which can, in fact, have really serious consequences.
We might even resort to old and destructive habits because we feel so dragged down from the seriousness that we perceive all around us. Consequently, we just want some relief so we resort to behaviors that are harmful.
It’s hard to see what isn’t serious. I mean with this invisible virus on the prowl, it’s hard to lighten up, isn’t it?
But can we?
The solution to being too serious about so much
I believe we can learn to ease up a little but it won’t be easy. But we should try to find some things to laugh about, or at least, smile about. Here’s one to make you laugh.
I woke up this morning and leaned over the edge of the bed to see what time it was. (The clock is kept under the bed so I can’t see it.) The clock said 2:17. Yikes. I was wide awake. Closing my eyes, I tried to go back to sleep but it didn’t work.
I looked at the clock again. The numbers looked a little odd. Oops. The clock had turned upside down! It really was 7:15. ( A couple of minutes had passed.)
Did that make you smile?
Here’s what I’m smiling about today:
I have people to love. I am loved. I have a home and food to eat. I can read and write. I walk and talk and see and hear. ....................
Make your own list.
Trying to find a way to lighten up right now might be a matter of remembering how much we have to be grateful for. (BTW, I’m well aware that many people ARE truly facing very serious issues).
Try to discern between what is really worth your worry and concern and what isn’t.
God bless and hang in there.
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