Someone remarked recently that “Fun Brad” was gone. They were speaking about me, unfortunately. I appreciated their honesty. I’ve been under some unique pressures and this was the result. I hadn’t even realized it.
Stress and difficulty is normal part of being human (for now.) But even in the “not-yet” of suffering, difficulty, challenge, and stress we have the “already-here” of the Gospel which changes how we deal with these things.
The reason for me being a little dull, a little boring, was really the result of failing to believe the Gospel. When the winds of challenge blew hard and moved upon me, I ended up in the rut of somberness, obsessing over all my problems.
But on the other side of the road is another rut that I’m all too familiar with. On that side the response to difficulty is frivolousness, where we dance and play to forget about all our worries as if they even existed in the first place.
I’m convinced that neither somberness nor frivolousness are sinful generally. But when a heart’s coping with difficulty, and expressing itself without respect to the beautiful news of the Gospel, that would indicate to me a breakdown.
What should we say then to our hearts when we get like this? “Why so serious?”, “Lighten up a little…”, “Party’s over dude! You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.” No, there’s a better answer to the broke-down heart that dances when it should mourn and frowns when it should sing: repent and believe the Gospel.
C.S. Lewis wrote that, “There is a kind of happiness and wonder that makes you serious.” Would you remove the stumbling blocks to Grace we put before others, failing to take gospel-joy seriously? Would you keep your life from falling into the ruts of somberness or frivolousness? Yeah, maybe things are difficult. But let’s not wallow-in OR wash-away the difficulties. Real joy, some would even say “infinite joy”, is offered to us. Let us take hold of it and get back on-track.
“And I commend joy, for man has no good thing under the sun, but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil throughout the days of his life that God has given him under the sun.“-Ecclesiastes 8:15