There’s an old saying about time flying when you’re having fun, or better yet, making that into a question of “Are we having fun yet?” During my working years, it became a kind of joke, one we would ask each other when things were tense, stressed, or frustrated. The answer almost always came with an “Oh, yeah,” said with a trace of sarcasm or resignation. Even now that I’m retired, it is still a buzz phrase a friend, and I use to indicate one or the other of us is definitely not having fun.
Last year, time seemed to fly, for the most part, but most of it actually was not fun. Oh, there were lots of cute kitten photos and amusing memes, plus cuddly animal stories, rescues, and the like. But there were also lots of depressing stories, the kind that could make a body want to curl up in a corner with a warm blanket and just shut out the whole world. Depression seemed very easy to sink into, and the news from day to day only seemed to make the black hole deeper. The national political scene goes from bad to ludicrous; world situations seem to teeter on the edge of a cliff. The nation’s infrastructure crumbles, but a new wall appears to be pushed ruthlessly along. School shootings, as well as gunfire in churches, malls, bars, concerts, and just about anywhere else people gather. Even homes aren’t safe from stray bullets, drive-by shootings, and home invasions. Children in cages, elders suffering neglect, Native Americans still being pushed off their lands and their holy places desecrated by bureaucrats hell-bent-for-leather for profits above ethics. Have we had enough bad news yet?
Now that it’s 2020, what are our chances of turning things around and making things better for all of us? What is it going to take to do something positive? When are we going to really start having fun rather than seeing fun as work, which is tedious, futile, or something we should be enjoying? Even on vacations, which are supposed to be about fun and recreation, are often more tiring and stressful than the typical workday.
I’m sure Jesus had lots of times when he would have said, “Are we having fun yet?” only to mean it in a less-than-enthusiastic way. It must have been hard having no permanent home, not always being sure where and when the next meal was coming from, and repeating the same things over and over to people who didn’t always seem to get what he was trying to teach. Even his disciples appeared as dim as 15-watt light bulbs at times. Indeed, there was no way that the journey to Calvary could be considered fun, but Jesus did everything he was supposed to do without complaint or trying to weasel out of it. He didn’t ask that God make things easier for him, just that he could do God’s will, whatever that might be.
So life isn’t going to be all fun and games. Now, I’m sure God had fun making the world with all its diversity of color, shape, texture, and size, from the amoebae and diatoms to the whales and elephants, mountains and oceans, but I can’t do stuff like that. I can enjoy creating simple things, like making a scarf or writing a blog post. I can vote to support something I believe in, and against things I feel are wrong or against the greater good. I can read and investigate what I read and the sources they cite. I can try to keep an open mind and heart, and try to do whatever I can to follow Jesus’s example of doing what is needed without expecting it to be fun.
But then, who says work can’t be fun? Maybe I just need to re-evaluate what “fun” is, and whether positive results can be enjoyable. Being Christian doesn’t mean I have to be all gloom and doom and waiting for the Second Coming next Thursday. Being Christian means we get Christmas and Easter. We have the Beatitudes, John 3:16, Micah 6:8, the hope of the kingdom of God on earth, the promise of heaven, and the assurance of the love of God, the salvation Jesus bought for us, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Who knows? Working at making the world better might be fun because the benefits will be out of this world!
Image: Cat Sleeping on Keyboard, Author: Remedios44. Found on Wikimedia Commons.
Linda Ryan is a co-mentor for an Education for Ministry group, an avid reader, lover of Baroque and Renaissance music, and retired. She keeps the blog Jericho’s Daughter. She is also owned by Phoebe, Dominic, and Gandhi.