I have a few questions I ask myself – some daily and some weekly – to make sure I’m emotionally healthy and aligned with God’s purpose for my life on any given day. My overly analytical tendency is to think too far forward and forget to find meaning in the moment, so building a quick self test has been really important.
The handful of questions are very basic. They measure things like how peaceful I feel, how obedient I’ve been, whether or not I’ve stopped to listen to Him and others, etc. But recently I added a question to the metric and it’s made a very big impact on how I view my life’s purpose. The question is this:
Are you having fun right now? If not, why not?
Seriously. That’s the question. And before you yell at your computer screen that sometimes life is hard and suffering is important and we gotta do the difficult, let me say: I agree with all those things. I’ve had a pretty immersive experience in dealing with sadness and doing hard things. But I also believe that those seasons should not be the norm. When the battle is over, we should go on home. And home should – at least in some small way – be fun, or maybe we’re doing it a little bit wrong. Fun should not be the once-annual byproduct of having cleaned up all the messes and eliminated all the negative ingredients. Fun should be had in the very middle of the messes and in rebellion to the negative elements that want to sink our happiness and steal our whimsy.
I have a job I adore, a family I would die for, friends who make my life more rich and full than I ever could have imagined, an amazing boyfriend (**see footnote) and grandkids that are so cute they make my heart do backflips. Most importantly, I am alive in the right-now, right-here good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The seasons of sorrow have been real and treacherous, but they have made me more compassionate, more wise, more rich than I was before. So much is good and right and beautiful in my life that I’m beginning to believe if I’m not having some serious fun living it, then maybe I have bought some kind of of lie that the other shoe is about to drop, or other people have it better or I’m too busy (*see other footnote – it’s a footnote kind of day) to really enjoy it right now or any manner of excuse-making we do when we’d rather stay stuck than change.
It certainly doesn’t need to be your life motto, but it is becoming one of mine: If I’m not having fun, I might be doing it wrong.
Have a really fun Monday!
*I just read this article by Eugene Peterson about The Unbusy Pastor and it was like the best sort of punch in the gut.
**It’s still feels wonky to say “boyfriend” at 51, but “gentleman friend’ seems yet stranger. In fact, let me honestly state that dating is the most weird, whimsical, outrageous, controversial, risky thing I have ever done, and I do not love risks. My life would be so much more ordered and calm and predictable without it but it would also be exponentially less fun and full and happy.