Lent (Day 15) — and the last day of Winter Reading 2014

Well, as often is the case, I underestimate the time required of stuff, and so I was unable to finish ch. 3 of Martin’s book, and unable to finish the book as well.  Well, I’ll continue to read through it until I finish, and will continue to post at allsoulo.wordpress.com through Lent.  But this will be the last link I’ll post on the Library’s site, as Winter Reading has come to an end for this year.  Be sure to get your reading logs in, if you haven’t already, get your stunning Winter Reading cup, and be entered for a Kindle Fire.  And come to one of the various parties being held throughout the library system in the next couple of weeks (check with your local Kansas City Public Library for details).  

My failure to finish this book before the end of Winter Reading I take as a good sign — it reminds me that there’s still lots of humorous stuff out there to read, that reading doesn’t stop with Winter Reading, or Summer Reading, for the kids.  It’s something we can, and should do every day.  But now on to Martin’s book.

This chapter has 11 1/2 Serious Reasons for Humor.  Here are 7 and 8.

7: Humor Welcomes — In this section, Martin talks about the story of Abraham, Sarah and Isaac.  Abraham, at an age near 100, and his wife, Sarah, around 90, did not have children of their own.  When three strangers came to their house (angels, or perhaps God in disguise with two angels), Abraham greeted them with generous hospitality.  He was told, as a reward, that his wife Sarah would have a child, at which Abraham laughed, and Sarah laughed.  When the child was born, they called him Isaac (“he laughed”) to commemorate the moment.  I’ve known this story for about 22 or so years.  My first wife was involved with someone (we were divorced at the time), and she became pregnant.  This came as quite a shock to her, and she recalled the story of Sarah and Abraham.  When a girl was born, she named the girl Sarah.  What always struck me about that story was the grace with which my ex had taken the news that she was pregnant (there was no guarantee that the guy planned on sticking around).  And the ready acceptance of her situation, and the determination to make the situation work — that really impressed me (and impresses me to this day).  It’s the acceptance of a new and frightening prospect of pregnancy alone that we see in the story of Mary.  It’s ultimately saying “yes” to life, which isn’t always easy to do.

8: Humor is healing.  In this section, Martin mentions some books, The Stress Manager’s Manual and Anatomy of an Illness, in which the authors speak of how important humor is, that it has positive physical effects — releasing endorphins into the system, and cleansing the system of the hormone cortisol.  Fighting life, or maintaining a system that is not viable, takes a lot of effort and results in a great deal of stress.  Humor, it seems, can help us get past the pain and the stress and live better lives.  

And so, as a final parting note — continue to read and laugh.  It’s good, and good for you.

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