Dr. James L. Snyder Ministries
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"Out to Pastor" > Why Grin When You Can Laugh out Loud


18 Apr 2015

I am of the opinion that standing in line is not a career although I have been so employed most of my life. If it is a career, I am not applying for any employment.

I have searched colleges and universities and have yet to find any of them offering a PhD in Standing in Line. I believe there is no such thing, although I stood in line for so long now I probably have earned a PhD.

This past week I had this brought to my attention in an interesting manner. I had ordered a printing job at Staples and went in to pick it up. Walking in the door I noticed that at the printing department there was a long line of people waiting. My heart sank.

Nothing seems to be more of a waste of time then standing in line waiting for service or to pick up something. The woman behind the counter was doing the best she could, but the line did not seem to shrink very much. In fact, it seemed to grow.

As I stood there, I noticed the people in line were getting a little grouchy. You could tell by the grimace on their face that they were not in one of their “happy moods.” At the time, most of the people in line were women. Nobody was talking to anybody, just staring or should I say glaring at the woman behind the counter trying to move the customers through as fast as possible.

It is always true that when you are in a hurry, things go rather slow. I try to pretend I am not in a hurry and whistle, usually, “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.” If it is this time of year people look at me as though I am crazy. Looks can be deceiving, but not in my case.

If you pretend that you have all the time in the world, things seem to go by quicker. It is like your computer. If you are in a hurry, the computer will run as slow as possible. On the other hand, if while you are waiting for the computer to get up and running you have many other things to do the computer is up and running before you know it.

I was thinking all these things as I was standing in line because I was not really walking in line. I thought of Johnny Cash’s song, “I walk the line,” and was tempted to start singing it, but I did not think it would be appropriate.

Then things began to take another turn. A woman came behind the counter, saw me and asked very loudly, “Are you here to pick up?”

There are times when something happens inside my head that makes me say things that I have not really prepared. I do not know what it is, maybe it is my upbringing but I am still not all the way up.

Without hardly a thought, I said in my outdoor voice, “No, I’m married, but thanks for the offer. It’s not often an old geezer like me get such an invitation.”

Then the whole atmosphere changed. Most of the people in line broke out in hilarious laughter. They never heard such a line in all their life. One woman looked at me and said, “Thanks, I needed that.” Another said, “You’ve made my day.”

Everybody was laughing and talking and the time seemed to go by very quickly and soon I was on my way out.

My observation is that most people are too serious, but too serious about the wrong things. Everybody seems to be uptight particularly when they are in the store standing in line.

One rule I have in life and that is, I do not take myself very seriously. After all, I do own a mirror! If what I see in the mirror is what other people see when they encounter me, I better start laughing now and join the crowd.

There are things that we need to take seriously. Most people do not take the serious things seriously, but they take instead, the hilarious things seriously. We live in an upside down world.

A time comes when you have to really laugh out loud. I have noticed that when one person starts laughing pretty soon everybody in the surrounding area will join in the laughing. Laughing seems to be rather contagious.

If you get up in the morning and listen to the news, you are going to be down in the dumps all day. So much on television and radio for that matter, contribute to the degree of sadness infecting our country today.

I think occasionally everybody needs to have what I call “Laughter Therapy.” The way to begin this “Laughter Therapy,” is to begin laughing at yourself. After all, everybody else is laughing at you; why not join in the hilarity?

Of course, some things are not funny. The wise person knows the difference between what is funny and what is not funny. To laugh at the wrong thing can be disastrous.

Solomon understood this quite well when he wrote, “A merry heart doeth good likea medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).

I refuse to go through life with a strained grin on my face. I choose to laugh out loud and invite the whole world to laugh with me.