Once when my truck was in the shop, a friend dropped off an extra car they had, so that I could borrow it until my truck was fixed. My friend walked into the church and gave me the keys. I hadn’t seen the car that was dropped off. But when I got ready to leave, I walked out to the parking lot and opened the car door, put my stuff in the back seat, and proceeded to try a crank it with the key that was left for me. But I was having trouble, the key wouldn’t fit. Just then, I looked up and another friend of mine was standing outside the car door looking at me with a strange look asking if he could help me. I said, “I can’t get this key to fit in the ignition. He said, “that might be because this is my car”. I was embarrassed and he was confused. But I began to laugh at myself as he stood there still puzzled which made it even funnier to me. I tried to explain through the laughter but I’m not sure he ever got it. Every time I think about that blunder, I laugh.
When was the last time you laughed at yourself? It is as the scripture says, like medicine. We shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously. We would all be much better off if we could come to terms with the fact that we are all in the same boat, so to speak when it comes to being human. We make mistakes and bad decisions. We are full of imperfections and weaknesses. None of us belong to a perfect family or have perfect jobs or perfect relationships. And it’s very exhausting to try to pretend that we do. So, what if we just stopped trying and became transparent about who we are? What if we discontinued our pursuit of managing everyone else’s perception of us? It’s much easier said than done. But it’s worthy of our best attempt and Christ is there to help. Hebrews says there is a rest that comes from ceasing from our own works. It says that we should labor toward ceasing from our works. I think our foolish pride qualifies as work that we should cease from.
I hope you are enjoying the holiday season and as you drop the ball, botch things up, and make a mess of it all, I hope you’ll find time to laugh at yourself. It will repair the hole left in your soul by the pride that says, “keep it all together and if you can’t, just pretend you did.”