A decade ago I dabbled in stand-up comedy. My humor was the weird kind that when the punchline came you could almost count the beats before the audience got the joke. Thankfully, most everyone in the crowd (all 17 of them on a good night) usually got it. One of my favorites from those days was,
“What’s the deal with those ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ books? I saw one the other day, ‘Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul.’ What if your pet was a chicken?”
3…2…1…aaaaaaand cue the laugh track.
I know I see the world differently than a lot of people. My skewed perspective means I notice things like signs or situations that most other people don’t. The day I wrote this I saw somebody on the road with a “Buy Local” bumper sticker, on a foreign car. I love ironies like that in life.
I know there’s a lot of debate about the use of Powerpoint in churches. I take a different approach; I don’t care as long as everything is spelled right. One time at church the Powerpoint-Powers-That-Be had us singing about how Jesus took “all my quilt away.” I nearly bit my lower lip off fighting the giggles for the rest of the service.
That church was notorious for Powerpoint misprints. A few weeks later I was following along on the screen during worship service when my mind immediately flashed back to Moses, Aaron, and the golden calf. Nobody else seemed to notice but this time we were singing the “Angus Dei.” Not only could I not stop laughing; I could not stop craving Outback Steakhouse for lunch.
Funny is everywhere.
I recently moved to Louisville, KY to transfer to Southern Seminary. Classes haven’t started yet but already I like it here. Everything is still new to me, so the lack of familiarity lets me observe the odd things no one else seems to see. For instance, the other day I was driving by an organic bakery and saw their sign advertising two very different things on two different lines but in my head I read the sign just like I saw it:
I’m so glad people with wheat allergies now have some place to go for internet access.
Even on campus I’m noticing things. One thing they have here is a free thrift store for students. It’s a gracious ministry and one I’ve already been blessed by. It’s in one of the dorm buildings and it’s called “The Attic.” But don’t bother going upstairs to find it. It’s in the basement. They have a handtruck available to haul heavy stuff. If you use it, just remember to abide by the writing on it. Please return it because it is “Properti of the Attic.” Will do, absoluteli.
So I have this odd sense of humor, but at the same time I am in seminary because I believe myself honored to be called to preach the gospel and one day to shepherd some of the people of God. There’s no question that theology is serious, holy business. We are very much in a battle until our Lord Jesus Christ vanquishes his enemies; may the Lord grow us in our devotion to him and to the proclamation of the gospel. Not at all to diminish those vital truths, but at the same time one daily grace the Lord gives is laughter and I am so thankful he does.
Like a three o’clock chocolate fix to pep up a slow afternoon, life is full of funny little incongruous gifts that can give you a happy little boost everyday. If you’re a numbers person, find the mathematical things in life that make you laugh…and laugh! (My wife once received a refund check in the mail for two cents. It cost them more to process, print, and mail the stupid thing than it was worth!) Or, if you are a word person like me then find those goofy wordy things and have a ball. The point is, whether you are a numbers person or a word person, even in your humor, “to God be the glory!”