I guess as a comedian my mind is supposed to work a bit differently than the minds of the rest of the world. I realized something today as I was listening to Christian radio while driving home from a comedy club. My spiritual life isn’t the same as everybody else’s either.
I give thanks to God when I make someone laugh. Who does that, really? Who walks away from a party and says, “Thanks, God, for letting that joke about my mother-in-law be such a big hit when I told it to that strange woman I met while standing next to the table of cheeses.”
Nobody. Oh, we might go home and thank God for a wonderful night, for getting us home safely, for allowing us to make new friends or reconnect with old ones… but who really thanks God for letting them make people laugh? Do construction workers thank God for letting them weld a girder straight? Do restaurant servers go home at the end of each night and thank God for helping them to remember the order correctly on table number six?
We should, you know. We should thank him for these things. The bible tells us that all good things from God (James 1:17).
What do we define as good? Did you particularly appreciate that hot fudge sundae you had for lunch? (Granted, your lunch preferences might be different than mine.) Thank him for it.
Are you a radio personality that just “hit the post”? Did you just create an amazing piece of station imaging or commercial production? Thank him for it.
Whatever it is – give praise to God. I’m saying this as a reminder to myself as well, by the way.
It’s strange. I think most people spend time talking to God when they are in a crisis. You know – when your life is in shambles and everything seems to be crumbling around you. I scream for his help often when I see the bills piling up, when I’m feeling ill, when I’m losing to my wife at Wii Bowling…
That’s when most people speak with God – in the trying times. I think that’s because it’s those darkest times of our lives that we feel the farthest away from God. Of course, God is never farther away or closer than any other time. He’s always there, right next to us, at all times… period. He’s just as close to you when you’re looking and feeling good as he is when you’ve just woken up, you’ve got fuzz on your teeth, crust in the corners of your eyes, and a nasty case of bed head. Just because we don’t feel him there, doesn’t mean he isn’t. You might want to consider that the next time you suck in your gut as you pass a mirror, thinking it makes you look more attractive. God knows better.
I was listening to Christian radio on my way home tonight from a comedy club and I realized that right now I feel closer to God than I have in a very long time – and I think it’s because things are actually going well now for the first time in almost a year. After nine months of wallowing in self-pity over not having a job and not being able to provide for my household, suddenly things are beginning to change. It all began when I came to the realization that I needed to simply trust in God. It took me nine months to get to that mental state – sad, eh? Like I said – my mind works differently that most others. But once I got there, things started changing for the better.
Suddenly now I’m busier than I’ve ever been. And driving home tonight, listening to Christian radio for the first time in about a year, it occurred to me that I’m spending more time with God than I have in months. I’m speaking with him more now. I’m spending more time in his word (I listen to the Bible on CD – I’m not much of a reader), and I truly believe I’m hearing him more (not in an audible “Oh God: Book 2” kind of way, of course – I’m not THAT different from other people).
I’m spending more time now thanking him. Yes, I present my needs, wants, desires, etc., just as everyone does – but I’m spending more and more time just thanking God for the wonderful things he’s doing in my life. I thank him for giving me opportunities to do what I love to do, like acting, hosting a radio show again, and doing stand-up comedy. I thank him for blessing me with a beautiful, loving wife that I in no way deserve. I thank him for somehow providing all of our needs the past few months despite my selfish actions and total ignoring of him. I’m even thanking him for the little things now. I thank him for Pepsi Max. I thank him for green traffic lights. I thank him for the new fries at Wendy’s.
And I thank him for laughter. Because, let’s face it – in today’s day and age, we need it. My only hope now is that there are folks leaving my comedy shows or listening to my radio show or podcasts that feel they have something new to thank God for.
They’re probably thanking him that they’re not me. But hey, that’s a start.
Thanks for bringing all of this to mind, Christian radio folks – I appreciate it.