“When I Relax I Feel Guilty” is the title of one of the books in my library. It may be time to read it again. Maybe you should too.

It is easy for us to get caught up in the seriousness of life and not stop to enjoy the moments along the way. There are times when we do stop to “smell the roses” or take time to laugh – and we feel guilty. I’m not so sure that is what God has in mind for us.

God created us with the ability to laugh. No only do we have that ability, but it is important for us to laugh. Laughter is truly some of the best medicine. Tim Hansel author of the book afore mentioned writes,

When laughter fades
the tendency is toward self-absorption
and the iris of life’s eye
squeezes the light to a pinpoint.
Morning only intimidates you into another day
and creativity no longer has the energy to care.

Sometimes we approach life like this:
“From tomorrow on I shall be happy,
From tomorrow on.
Not today.
And every day, no matter how good things may be,
I shall say
from tomorrow on I’ll be happy
not today.” (Hansel)

A young Jewish girl, surrounded by the horrors of a Nazi concentration camp, had the grace and composure to write the following poem…

“From tomorrow on
I shall be sad
From tomorrow on —
not today.
Today I will be glad,
and every day
no matter how bitter it may be
I shall say
From tomorrow on I shall be sad
not today.” (Hansel)

Here are some quotes from people that encourage us to laugh.

“Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has troubles enough of its own.” – Ella Wheeler Wilcox

“I laugh because I must not cry….With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die.” – Abraham Lincoln

“He who laughs — lasts.” – Norwegian Proverb

“People who laugh actually live longer than people who don’t laugh. Few persons realize that health actually varies according to the amount of laughter.” – James S. Walsh

“A man isn’t poor if he can still laugh.” – Raymond Hitchcock

“One should take good care not to grow too wise for so great a pleasure of life as laughter.” – Joseph Addison

“A cheerful heart is good medicine.” – Proverbs 17:22

“A happy heart makes the face cheerful.” – Proverbs 15:13

“Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do. Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil. Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this…life that God has given you….” – Ecclesiates 9:7-9.

Yes, life is serious. But alongside that seriousness, there is much cause for laughter – and it is okay to laugh. Not only is it okay, but it is essential to laugh. So go ahead – relax a little and have a good laugh.