Given the name of this blog, Laugh Out Loud, you might think the title of this post refers to the ache you get in your belly from a really good laugh. Alas, that is not the case, though I do know that feeling. It’s a very good feeling.
I am thinking more along the lines of Charlie Brown. Remember him? The funny-looking, round-headed kid in the Peanuts comic strip? Every once in a while, the last panel of the strip would have him stating the phrase “My stomach hurts,” often as the result of some mishap in his ever elusive quest to win a baseball game or as the result of being scorned by Lucy. I know the feeling he is talking about.
Really good comic strips have a way of capturing truth in succinct and poignant ways. The fact that Charlie Brown’s abdominal pain was connected to his role as pitcher and manager of his baseball team is an example of this. Leadership, if we are honest, carries responsibilities that can tie stomachs in knots. Sometimes, I think this is not the way it should be. Certainly, there is much in the Bible that would indicate that the faithful life is not often the easy life. But then Christ says, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” While we can only imagine what the eternity that awaits us will be like, I am sure knots in the stomach will not exist.
What if we could be more like Snoopy—the confident swagger, the carefree dance, the impish blanket stealer, and the one who was always ready to plant a kiss on Lucy’s face no matter how nasty she was? Well, okay that last one could get you in trouble. Yet, there is something appealing about the way he takes on the world.
In the end, the real answer comes from a verse that I saw on a classroom wall today—“I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). I don’t always feel that way, to be honest, but I also know that it is what Christ desires for all of us. May we find ways to instill the knowledge of this statement in our students.