Wednesday, August 08, 2007

lighten up

One of the hardest lessons I've had to learn in my life as a Christian and as a human being is the necessity of "lightening up." I've tended to be too heavy and serious in a wrong kind of way, as if so much depends on me. It reminds me of the lesson Martin Luther had to learn, not at all to put me in the same breath as him, but he had to learn to go to sleep and rest well at night since it was not he, but God who is in charge of the world.

I've learned from some good Christians the art of lightening up and simply having a good old high time, simply enjoying life. And this spirit needs to carry over into all of life, so that I realize that as serious as I want to be in my walk in Christ, it of necessity requires an attitude of faith that while necessarily exercised with concern at times, ends up entrusting the outcome of all things into the good hands of God to bring out his good for us in Jesus.

This is a good attitude to have when we feel like it, and when we don't feel like it. Even when we pray about serious matters indeed, we should do so as the very children of God, knowing we can rest assured in his goodness to us and concern of love in regard to all things in this world.

Do you have trouble lightening up? Or what has helped you to do so?


Kim said...

Wow, Ted - do I ever understand what "lightening up" means as a Christ follower! The universe quickly revolves around any and all critical decisions I must make, as if life as we all know it will be disrupted and forever changed because of what I did or did not do.

(This is the sound of me gagging.)

I wish this lesson weren't so emotionally painful for such a long period of time (4 years), but it was (and still is, sometimes) necessary. Last I checked, God was still on His throne. I do my best these days to check more often.

Staying in the Word is key for me, as is my daily quiet/prayer time. Remembering and focusing on my priorities (God, marriage, family) also causes me to lighten up. Before I can do all sorts of great things for God, I must first be who He created me to be. I'm a do-er by nature. So, it's hard to let go and lighten up.

Don't know where I'm going with this - just wanted to chime in on your blog, because your words resonated with me just now. :)

Ted M. Gossard said...

Kim, Thanks for your words here. I so much agree with you about my own need to be in the word and in prayer as I live out life, seeking to do so in his grace.

And a big part of that for me is to simply let go of so much that I think is so important which at times may be above board and at times not.

A big part for me is to simply be willing to face whatever it is God may put in front of me, seeking always to be sensitive to him and his leading and being willing to face pain and when need be to repent as I endeavor to be obedient as his child in his family in Jesus in this world.

Anonymous said...

i have some very good advice for you from a very good source...
When having a smackerel of something with a friend, don't eat so much that you get stuck in the doorway trying to get out.
Winnie the Pooh

Anonymous said...

Pooh often got stuck in the door after too much honey! He needed to lighten up too...on the honey that is. I think that we all need to lighten up more often. another good reminder!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy, Good one! Can learn alot from Pooh, I take it.

Allan R. Bevere said...


Over the years, parishioners have sent me funny cards from time to time, whether for my birthday, Christmas, or for no special reason.

I have saved all those cards over the past twenty-three years, and when I need to "lighten up" I take them out of my file and read them.

It works every time.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Allan, Sounds really good. I get a kick out of seeing some of those types of card at the store. We need alot more of that, really we need laughter most every day. I think this is being human as God intended.