Proverbs 17:22

A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.

Greetings from Pastor Dan, and a happy holiday week!

The church was closed on the Fourth of July, so in the interest of responsible self-care I did my best to make the most of my first Fourth in York. An old friend of mine and I were walking around that super touristy area surrounding the Goldenrod, down by the beach, and eventually we made our way into the arcade to get out of the sun for a minute. And there it was: the Skee-Ball lanes.

Now, mind you, I haven’t played Skee-Ball since high school at the latest, and I am an adult professional in a spiritual, meaningful line of work worthy of a certain degree of gravitas. It had been a busy week at the church, and if I’m honest, what I really wanted to be doing on this holiday was either catching up on the work that’s been piling up, or sleeping.

Instead, I played Skee-Ball. I don’t know if you’ve ever partaken, but there is something freeing about joyfully failing (and flailing) while the kids up and down the lanes on either side of you are winning ticket after ticket. Needless to say I was a bit rusty, but doing something so silly and laughing with friends and not caring a whit about what anyone around you might think… it’s healing!

This week, I encourage you to do something silly. Something “beneath” you, or younger than you, or just plain out of your comfort zone. It doesn’t matter how busy life is, or how heavy the burdens may be. In fact, it’s even better if the burdens of the moment are threatening to overwhelm you. We work, and we pray, and we sacrifice, and we strive… but a downcast spirit dries up the bones. Do something goofy, something that doesn’t fit. Even just for a few minutes. Let your heart be cheerful, and let it heal everything you’ve got.

Prayer: God of all, help us to feel the freedom to be vulnerable, to be foolish, to have fun, and to be cheerful, even (and especially) when things are tough. Amen.