Proverbs 15:13 (NIV)
A happy heart makes the face cheerful,
but heartache crushes the spirit.
Did you follow the 1987 football season when the Denver Broncos played the Cleveland Browns for the AFC title?
Less than two minutes remained in the game and Cleveland was ahead by a touchdown. The Broncos had just fumbled the ball out of bounds on their own 1/2 yard line. Hostile Cleveland fans were already throwing dog biscuits onto the field and celebrating a sure Cleveland win.
While the announcer was discussing who Cleveland would play in the Super Bowl and Denver fans were nursing bruised egos, the Broncos huddled in their own end zone. Quarterback John Elway was known for miraculous wins, but this situation was almost impossible.
All-pro left tackle Keith Bishop looked around the huddle at his team-mates, took a deep breath and said, "Hey, now we got them right where we want them!" Tense silence was broken by laughter.
One player laughed so hard he fell down! Somehow the joke lent perspective to an absurd situation and a sense of calm confidence replaced anxiety.
What followed has been dubbed the annals of football lore as The Drive. In less than two minutes, John Elway and the Broncos drove the length of the field and tied the game with just seconds left.
They won in overtime and went on to the 1988 Super Bowl (which, judged by the Broncos poor showing, was itself a kind of joke...).
An amazing shift occurred in the huddle that day. Laughter prepared them to bring their best to a demanding situation as nervous, negative energy was swept away in the absurdity of the moment.
Laughter has a way of creating positive change in any tense and stressful circumstance. But, as Mark Twain said, laughter is the greatest weapon that we humans possess and it's the one we use the least. Daily, we have countless opportunities to use the power of laughter to make a positive difference.
Dear Lord, we pray that we would have a spirit of joy. Help us face the things of life with positive attitude. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.