One of the things I really enjoy about retirement is taking myself lightly. I tend to be a really serious person which is one of the reasons I fell in love with Tom. He is brilliant, but he is not a serious person. He made me laugh and play – and he still encourages me in these things when I am being too serious. But I don’t have the responsibilities retired that I did when I was working, so I can laugh at myself and my behavior easily.
I recently read the quote by G. K. Chesterton, “Angels fly because they take themselves lightly and God seriously.” I like this idea. Angels are God’s messengers and used for all kinds of serious business. But they are beings of light, so it makes sense that laughter and joy and fun would come through in them too. However, they are prompt to do what God tells them to do. And they worship wholeheartedly because God is their complete focus.
I want to be like this. I want to worship God with my whole heart and have Christ be my complete focus. But I want this seriousness to be lightened by joy, laughter, and a lightness of being that lets me soar. Being a child of God means giving him the things that hold us down. After all, “God is light and in him is no darkness. (1 John 1:5).” My seriousness about so many things besides God has weighted me down and held me earthbound. I want to fly, to soar, to be a being of light, to bask in the joy of being a creature of God.
There are many things that keep us from taking ourselves lightly. Most of them are things with which we burden ourselves. We worry too much about things over which we have no control. We hang on to anger or hurt. We refuse to forgive, which only weighs us down, not the person we are not forgiving. We fret about money, the children, our spouses. We let the disappointments of life turn into failures in our eyes. We have to let go of these things in order to soar. We have to learn to take ourselves lightly and God seriously.
What weighs you down? Makes you be too serious? What keeps you from becoming a being of light? Give it to God and learn to fly!