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The Pressure Cooker

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

Proverbs 17:22 KJV

It is a cruel world filled with savagery. It is an arena where men are shredded to pieces and women are drawn and quartered. Few survive this darkened hall of torture and for those who do wander back into the light, their remaining days are filled with memories that haunt them. Who are these unfortunate souls? They are the reckless few who have attempted to walk onto a stage in a comedy club. Brutal does not begin to describe their experience.

As we think of these poor folks, with their self-inflicted wounds, you might be interested to know that comedy is really the invention of God, and he has given us the ability to laugh for a very specific purpose. These martyrs of mirth are really trying to help us.

A healthy life involves balance. Too much drama drains us, bringing us to stress levels that fill us with ulcers. A family or community under duress will not long endure. Laughter reduces our stress levels and causes our muscles to relax after 45 minutes. It also boosts our immune system. What is desperately needed in times of high suspense is a good old fashion belly laugh. Proverbs states, “laughter makes good like a medicine.”

My grandmother died when I was ten years old leaving us her house in town. It was a good move for a lad, and I was happy to be amid all the activity of the little village where I lived. Sometimes I go back in my mind and walk through that first house on North Grand. I can see the staircase and the bedrooms upstairs. I sit on the couch in our living room and see my seat at the table in the dining room. I walk through a passageway into our small narrow kitchen. On the stove sits a large metal pot with a valve sitting on top. That old pewter crock would rumble and shake and cause all kinds of ruckus. Finally, it had had enough and out blew the steam from that small valve. The ham that sat inside didn’t have a chance. I remember waiting for an explosion that never came thanks to that small valve on top. Laughter is like that valve; it gives us relief from the pressures of life.

Some people are born with a sense of humor. They look for the funny in every situation. They point out the absurd as they poke us in the side. We need those kinds of people. Comedy is essential to a healthy life and when comedians are silenced, we all suffer. So, don’t forget to laugh at life and yourself. The best comedy is found in the everyday events of life. Now go out and look for it and have yourself a good laugh today. It’s the best medicine for what ails you.


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