I pride myself on my maturity. Key word pride. Thus, it was not easy to hear, although it was said very lovingly, “Nana, I think you take yourself a little bit too seriously sometimes.”
When someone speaks a hard truth to me, my response is often defensive and irritable. I’m working on it. Unfortunately, this case was no exception. “I don’t take myself too seriously! I just value good conversation and being respectful.”
Pause. There is beauty in honoring the people around you by being a good listener, striving to be polite to them, seeking out deep and purposeful conversation, and pursuing other such “serious” enterprises. On the other hand, it is incredibly important to live a cheerful and joyous life. As Proverbs 17:22 says, “A joyful heart is good medicine” (ESV).
I have a hard time letting people poke fun at me or make light of difficult situations. The other day, though, I was challenged by something I read in a devotional called Jesus Calling. It says, in the words of Jesus speaking to us, “I rejoice when you trust Me enough to enjoy your life lightheartedly.” This reminder helped me see even more that I can honor the Lord and the people I love by sometimes simply brushing off a teasing comment and laughing at myself.
I still have much to learn about how to love others well, and I do believe that sometimes looks like being serious. Sometimes, honoring another looks like sharing focused and purposeful conversation or having difficult discussions and challenging one another in love. In my case, though, I hope to also grow in love this summer by choosing to be a little silly sometimes, embracing the ridiculous with a laugh, and rejoicing in every situation so that, in the words of that same devotional, I “do not miss the Joy of [God’s] presence.”
**Next day update**
Be careful when you ask God to help you grow in an area because He will give you great opportunities to practice! In celebration of International Yoga Day I attempted the Crow Pose on top of a boulder near the beach and ended up somersaulting off of it and bruising my derriere. Ouch! But praise the Lord, I was able to laugh it off with my sisters and keep smiling 🙂