“Stop, stop, stop!” my wife shrieked. “You’re going to chop its head off!”
Just a minute before this, I had been casually driving my family through a two-hour safari adventure. You know, the kind where wild animals come up to your car window and eat out of your hand? And it had been glorious… until I heard an evil purr…..click! click! click! (you got it…the sound of the wicked velociraptors from Jurassic Park). I jerked my head around to find an enormous ostrich poking its head into my window, its beady little eyes narrowed at me with a look that seemed to say, “Give me the bird seed or I’ll peck the life out of you!”
Well, I did what any self-respecting man would do in front of his wife and kids. I screamed bloody murder and instinctively punched the button to roll the window up! It was an act of self-defense, I tell you!
Fortunately my wife stopped me from closing the window, and I actually got to feed the crazy looking bird. And the best part? Throughout the entire ordeal the giant bird held its beak open, as if it was laughing its ugly little head off at my expense!
Something tells me that God was laughing, too. I mean, why not? We have a sense of humor, don’t we? Who do you think designed laughter and placed it within our hearts?
In his book, Beautiful Outlaw, John Eldredge points to the playfulness (and downright silliness) of creation as evidence of God’s playful nature.
“You can learn a lot about an artist from the works of art they leave behind. The personality of the artist leaks through their work. This will open up wonders for you about the personality of Jesus… look at His works of art.” – John Eldredge, Beautiful Outlaw
Think about it. Who designed wiener dogs to waddle around on stubby little legs, or dolphins to laugh and play in the ocean… or a daddy who jumps into full-on “fight or flight mode” when a goofy ostrich pokes around looking for food? Well, God did.
Eldredge also points out that the playfulness of Jesus can be seen in the way He chose to reveal Himself to the disciples after His resurrection. After conquering death and Satan for all time, He could have appeared to them on a gleaming white horse, or used the thundering voice of God. But instead, He finds them fishing at night and says casually, “Catching anything?” (John 21:1-11)
And when they hand their heads in shame, He says, “throw the nets over to the right.” And immediately they know it’s Jesus – because this was an inside joke. The same thing had happened before! When Jesus first called several of His disciples, He told Simon Peter to cast his net, to which Peter argued vehemently that he had been fishing all night and he was a fisherman and he knew it was pointless! And, before the multitudes, Jesus produced a net so full of fish it was breaking to bits, and Peter ended up looking pretty foolish! (Luke 5:1-11)
Here was Jesus, spending one last moment with His disciples and friends after His glorious resurrection… and He plays around with them!
So the next time you see something hilarious in the world around you, allow yourself to laugh and thank the Lord for sending a smile your way!
Just this morning, I was feeding my two dogs. As they dove into their food bowls, oblivious to the world, a fat little toad came out of its hiding place in some tall grass and slowly began to hop right past the enormous dogs. Hop….(wait a second)….hop…(wait a second)…hop hop….
The dogs would have gone crazy if they had seen the toad, but it managed to make it all the way through the fence before they had finished their breakfast. And I (who was cheering for the little guy), just had to laugh!
I gave God a wink. “Thanks, Lord,” I thought. “I needed that.”
And if the warm sun on my face was any indication – I think He smiled back.