Friday, September 10, 2010

LOL ... too much?

Life can get way too real and serious at times.  And after a week of classes, Fridays can definately fall under that description.  This is when you grab a friend, and head to the movies for a good comedy.

Tonight's selection was Grown Ups, a movie with all-stars of comedy like Rob Schneider, Adam Sandler, and Chris Rock.  The retorts and one-liners were nearly constant, and although it got out of hand sometimes, the movie had a really satisfying ending.

One of the cool things to me about a comedy is listening to the audience respond to the zingers that the actors deliver.  I enjoy getting caught up in the laughter, and maybe it's my extensive Simpsons/Family Guy viewing, but I found alot of the physical comedy in the movie to be pretty hilarious.

So much so that I began to worry that I might be laughing too much.  Maybe I was embarassing my friend, because I really was enjoying myself.  I didn't want to be "that guy", the awkward laugh-er.

Later this evening, as I think about the great experience I had at the movie, I realize how stupid my concern was.  Laughing too much at a movie like Grown Ups???  I guess crying would be out of the norm, but laughing is why we went, and probably why most people went on a Friday night.  In any college town, after three weeks of classes everyone is ready to forget about life and get some good entertainment.

From Blogger Pictures

I think it's pretty natural to be concerned with what people think of you.  But I'll put myself in a category of people who just might be a little too worried of others' opinions.  If I'm not careful, I'll spend too much time worrying about what people think of me, as if everyone around me is constantly evaluating me.

One of the prerequisites for a healthy friendship is a sense of acceptance.  In order to have true friends, you have to feel welcome in their presence.  You have to be comfortable as your true self.  You can't feel that you have to do something or become someone in order to keep your friendships going.  You have to be comfortable enough to share yourself without feeling judged.

This idea of acceptance in relationships moves from the important to the inspirational as we bring this discussion into the spiritual realm.  Many Christians have not fully accepted the principle of grace.  While they may not live in fear of God's anger, they are constantly afraid that they do not measure up to God's expectations of them as believers.  They are living "on the edge", feeling the need for complete repentance for every sin they commit.  And they begin to obsess over their failures until that consumes their life and they are unable to achieve any measure of success.

While we know the facts of salvation, many of us view salvation purely in the past tense.  We forget that the simple step of trusting in Christ, which began our spiritual journey, is also the principle that keeps it going.  Instead of worrying about what we need to do or become, we need to remember who we are in Christ - fully accepted - choose to believe this, and to live in this assurance.

Interestingly, our culture uses the term "making one's peace with God" to describe what one does while dying.  Seems like this idea of having peace with God, complete calm in our relationship with our Maker, would be a cornerstone of living as well.

The exchanged life, this acceptance of our perfection in Christ, is the only basis on which we can live and pray boldly.  Once we have this understanding, we can face the challenges of life knowing that God is on our side.  With this knowledge in practice, we don't have to be anything for God.  We don't have to do anything to earn His favor.  Through Christ, we can live our lives knowing that God accepts us completely.

I know this was alot of theological discussion, but if you've made it this far, let me just sum it up in this way.

If you're in a healthy relationship with God and others, you can sit in through Grown Ups, and laugh away to your heart's content, knowing that God is in heaven, and all's right with the world.

Go try it.  Next Friday night, I'm going to let the laughter come as it will.  It might even make next week's homework a little more bearable!

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