Bruce and I are not the “fixer-upper” type of people. We’re not completely incompetent mind you. Personally, I can do a couple of little handy things around the house, like replacing a broken toilet fill valve (yes, I just googled that) or change a light bulb or tighten a loose screw (don’t ask me to hang a sign above a doorway though). But overall we typically leave the repairs to the professionals.
That is until this past weekend. We made a huge leap in home-ownership maturity when together we successfully replaced a broken sprinkler head. Oh, yes we did.
Typically these projects lead to some frustration between us (not the “yelling” type but the subtle “you don’t know what you’re doing” side-comment type)…mostly due to our mutual ignorance and inexperience. But not this time.
What made this experience different? Well, this project required turning on each sprinkler station to see which heads were broken. It took all of 2 minutes before Price announced, “Let’s get our swimsuits on and jump through the sprinklers!”. How can you get angry during a home improvement project that involves cute little boys jumping through spraying water? Exhibit A:
Right? That smile is contagious.
Work became play. Necessary became enjoyable.
Our delightful project reflected a change in my attitude lately. I don’t know if it’s an adverse reaction to the heaviness of the world around me or the freedom I found in being in His grace bubble...but I’m learning to lighten up.
I grew up in a home of humor…Thursday nights in front of the T.V. enjoying “The Cosby Show”… Reading the comics with my dad on the couch each Sunday afternoon…Laughing big when family gathered.
Unfortunately, when I started studying the concept of “pride” & humility by practicing spiritual disciplines I took it all a little too seriously. Like a monk in a monastery alone in the presence of God, my demeanor was contemplative and reverent. How do you mix a love of comedy with a heart for humility?
Then I read this quote about the famous theologian, Karl Barth:
He never took himself seriously and always took God seriously and therefore was full of cheerfulness, exuberant with blessing. (E.Peterson)
Love this: “never took himself seriously & always took God seriously”.
Karl Barth himself wrote:
The theologian who has no joy in his work is not a theologian at all. Sulky faces, morose thoughts and boring ways of speaking are intolerable in this science.
How can we share the “good news” if we don’t look very happy about it? If the gospel causes us to moan and grumble, where is the joy in that?
The main thing is not to work for the Lord; it is not suffering in the name of the Lord; not observing the golden rule, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever” or in the vocabulary of Psalm 134, “Bless the Lord.” (E.Peterson)
Choosing to lighten up doesn’t mean stopping the work we have been called to do. “Go and make disciples” is still a thing. But it doesn’t have to be “work”.
I love how Bruce plays basketball and makes new friends while doing something he loves. And so a basketball court becomes the mission field. From a conversation while shooting hoops, he & I began a friendship with a couple from Korea (with a Buddhist faith) who have returned to their home country, gotten married and still keep in touch with us over Facebook.
Yes, we can’t forget our calling, but the main goal is to bless the Lord. He is blessed from our great delight in Him & his gifts. He is blessed in enjoying this world while obeying our call.
In the words of the great theologian Michael W. Smith, “There’s more to this life than living and dying. More than just trying to make it through the day…”