I believe there is nothing like a good story, especially one that makes a person laugh. Laughter is so important in our lives, but we often take laughter for granted. We become so focused on getting the job done, finding the right answer, making sure everything is done properly and orderly, burning the midnight oil—that we forget to enjoy the day. So, I invite you to sit back, relax, and read the following story. The author is unknown.
Pastor Chuck Johnson
A traveler, who had been hopelessly lost in the desert for four long hot days, sees a home off in the distance. Tired, and weak, he crawls to the house and collapses on the doorstep. The missionary, who lived in the house, found the traveler on his doorstep and nursed him back to health. Feeling better the man asks the missionary for directions to the nearest town. On his way out the backdoor, he sees the missionary’s horse out back. He goes back into the house and asks the missionary, “Could I borrow your horse and give it back when I reach the town?”
The missionary says, “Sure, but there is something special about this horse. You have to say, ‘Thank God’ to make it go and ‘Amen’ to make it stop.”
Not paying much attention the man says, “Sure, ok.” So, he gets on the horse and says, “Thank God” and the horse starts walking. Then he says, “Thank God, thank God,” and the horse starts trotting. Feeling really brave the man says, “Thank God, thank God, thank God, thank God,” and the horse takes off in a gallop. Pretty soon he sees a cliff coming up and he’s doing everything he can to make the horse stop.
“Whoa, stop, hold on!!!!” he yells. Finally he remembers and yells, “AMEN!” The horse stops inches from the cliff. The man leans back in the saddle and says, “Thank God.”
Psalm 126:2-3 reads, “Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then it was said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’ The Lord has done great things for us, and we rejoiced.”
We have now begun the holiday season of the year—Halloween is behind us, Thanksgiving is looming in the near future, and the Advent season will prepare us for the joy of Christmas. This is truly a joyous time of year, but it can also be an all-consuming time of the year if we do not take the time to enjoy each day.
Psalm 118:24 reads: “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” A person can paraphrase this verse, as is often the case, with these words. “Each day is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift to God.”
Or as a member of my congregation reminded me recently, “Every day is a gift of God, which is why we call it a present.”
I invite you today, and each and every day, to enjoy the present. Enjoy the time with family and friends, work and play, in prayer and thanksgiving. Enjoy the laughter that comes when we let go of the inhibitions of life that seek to curtail us from enjoying the true happiness of life, of family and friends that is around us. Enjoy the day—and share a laugh or two!