Jocularity, Jocularity


M*A*S*H was one of my favorite shows during the early 70’s when I was in college and trying to find myself.  The 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital found life in the Korean war unbearable at times.  Whether by the weather, or circumstances of war, they were forced to make their own fun.  The whole show is at times poignant, at times brutally sad, but most episodes are filled with the shenanigans and exploits of doctors and nurses who become a witty, if not hilarious close-knit family just managing to get through the pain.  Perhaps my favorite character of the cast was Lt. Father Francis John Patrick Mulcahy.

One of the great episodes of M*A*S*H was an episode titled “Movie Night.”  The whole gang has been fussin’ and bickering, so Father Mulcahy procures Colonel Potter’s favorite John Ford western classic, My Darling Clemetine, to be shown in the mess hall that night. The film is full of cuts and splices causing it to break and Klinger having to turn on the lights to fix the thing.  When the film breaks the second time, Father Mulcahy plays the piano and leads the raucous crowd in “Gee, Ma, I Wanna Go Home.” The film keeps breaking periodically and the next breaks become a Father Mulcahy impersonation time.  Hawkeye, Klinger, Frank Burns, Margaret, Radar, all take their turn at the witty quotes, with the closing statement made by Colonel Potter in a fit of chuckles, “Jocularity! Jocularity!”

Father Francis was my favorite character because I identified with him on so many levels.  No I’m not a catholic priest, and no, I’ve not been to war.  What I found most in common with the good Father was his earnest desire to make a difference.  In fact, Father Mulcahy was earnest about everything.  So earnest to do a good job when his supervisor came to camp, that he got a little tipsy dipping into the sacramental wine.  Most of the time he went about his business of trying to offer counsel to young soldiers, or giving last rites to those young brave men who wouldn’t make it through surgery.  He was witty and funny and always willing, over-zealously willing, to jump in and offer a hand with just about any task… just to make a difference.

Perhaps if you’ve been reading my blog this year, and follow it regularly, you’ve noticed my propensity for taking on a serious tone, applying Scripture and God’s truth to the topics each day.  I guess that’s because most days I see the world around us and it seems like a spiritual nuclear war zone to me.  The stakes are too high to try to force myself to be witty or clever when eternity is at stake.  When the funny times do come, when the diatribe goes slack and the smiles come out, I count my blessings and laugh along with everyone else.  Just like the good Father Mulcahy.

[Ecclesiastes 3:1-4]

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—

A time to give birth and a time to die;
            A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.

      A time to kill and a time to heal;
            A time to tear down and a time to build up.

      A time to weep and a time to laugh;
            A time to mourn and a time to dance.

Take the time today to experience the witty, clever, funny side of life.  God designed these parts too, just for you.



If you liked this blog post feel free to share it with your friends. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Just for Giggles


so funny

I have to be honest.  The minion movies are some of my favorite kid flicks for all time.  Somehow they just tickle my funny bone, and I giggle, chortle, titter, tee-hee, snicker, and guffaw throughout the whole movie.  When I laugh like this I feel better afterward.  When I chuckle and giggle for an hour and a half, I come out the other side feeling refreshed and alive, and my burdens seem a little lighter.  Intended or not by the film makers, I know this is God’s design.

The wisest man to ever live said,

There is an appointed time for everything.
And there is a time for every event under heaven…
A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance…
[Ecclesiastes 3:1-4]

The Creator of the Universe once appeared in human flesh as the Son of God.  When He taught the people he said,

Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh
[Luke 6:20-21]

When King David was a little anxious of his enemies, he remembered the God he served with these words,

They return at evening, they howl like a dog, and go around the city.
Behold they belch forth with their mouth; swords are in their lips, for they say, “Who hears?”
But YOU, O LORD, laugh at them; YOU scoff at all the nations.
[Psalm 59:6-8]

One more, from King David, helping us trust in the LORD,

The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes at him with his teeth.
The LORD laughs at him, for HE sees his day coming.
[Psalm 37:12-13]

What do we glean from just these verses?  The Creator laughs at us when we fret over things which He controls, and we do not.  The Creator also created us to be able to laugh like He laughs, so we can get over our fears and anxieties.  The Creator has given us His word that He is in control, that He has the authority, and that He is ever-present with us.  What’s not to laugh?

I’ve done this all my life, and I’ve been ridiculed, mocked, or judged for this simple response to the pressures of life.  When something bad happened, when I’ve gotten bad news, when someone abandoned me, when some enemy came at me strong, my first reaction often was an almost silent chuckle.  Some people, and rightly so, would call this a defense mechanism.  In defining my action this way, they suggest I’m weak.  However, I believe with all my heart that this reaction is a gift to me for my faith in the Creator.  For I have an overwhelming assurance that nothing can come at me from heaven or earth that will ever separate me from Jesus my Savior, God my Father, or the Holy Spirit my comforter.  [Romans 8]  The silent chuckle is my great defense, because in that moment I am reminded who loves me the most.

I believe this truth so strongly that when faced with pain, loss, frustration, or temptation, I can just chuckle, and know My God will deliver me from this too.  When I look into the eyes of my enemy.  I’m more like Kevin, the minion above, … “You are so funny!”


If you liked this blog post feel free to share it on your Facebook page. Send me a “friend” invite on my FB account or sign up by email to follow my blog!