By Ron Wood / guest columnist
The Meridian Star
I can now say that I know who Honey Boo Boo is. Honestly, I didn’t have a clue before this week. Now, just by changing TV channels, I see people in America living in a weird reality, stuck somewhere in between episodes of Honey Boo Boo and fretting anxiously about an impending Armageddon — from absurdity to “It’s the end of the world!”
If all I ever did was worry about a Muslim riots, or Iran getting a bomb, or the next election, or flesh-eating bacteria, or America’s fiscal cliff, then my anxiety meter would stay pegged off the scale. So maybe Honey Boo Boo can provide an escape, some harmless entertainment when modern reality seems so harsh and so unpleasant.
But I’ve got a better way to dodge depression or shake off a sense of dread. I think it’s a better way than filling my mind with funny fluff, albeit harmless distracting humor.
Don’t take me wrong. There’s nothing bad about humor or laughter, or about joy or pleasure either. God actually laughs. We have an emotional side to our humanity. We’re made in His image so we should be able to freely laugh as well. Laughter is like good medicine – it is good for our soul and for our body. Hold that thought. Here’s some actual funny stuff a friend just sent me. I don’t know the source, but here it is:
• The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.
• If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.
• Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
Back to being happy. Some people seem to be habitually unhappy. But God doesn’t cause their unhappiness. The Lord fills our mouth with laughter!
I love laughter and having fun. I see in the Bible where the Lord says that He laughs at his enemies (Psalms 2:4). The Bible also says we ought to have gladness and joy and that we should be free of all sadness (Is. 51:11). We should enjoy genuine comfort from our Creator (Is. 51:12). We should not be continually afraid of men — even religious fanatics filled with hatred (Isaiah 51:13).
God’s way sounds like a prescription for good mental health to me. Living with dread as we observe out-of-control world events can make even sane folks self-medicate with amusement, addictive substances or other things.
I suggest we change our mind by changing what we focus on. Try looking toward the Lord. He has the power, the motivation, and the means to supply all the comfort we need.
He can deliver us from fear and inject His joy into our soul, joy which lasts longer than laughing at Honey Boo Boo.
Ron Wood is pastor of Trinity Assembly of God, located on Chandler Road off Highway 19 N in Meridian. Visit the church's website at www.trinitymeridian.com, or call 601-483-8189.